By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Lagos State Government has signed a partnership deal with the City of Dubai on Monday in a deal that will ensure that the state emerges as the first Smart City in Africa.
According to the state government, the deal which was sealed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU was signed at the Emirate Towers, Dubai by the stateâ€™s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem and the Chief Executive Officer of Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez.
The statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde on Tuesday stated that the move was witnessed by the Chairman of Dubai Holdings, Ahmad Bin Byat who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
Ayorinde added that the initiative is a growing concept that draws from the success of Dubai’s innovative knowledge-based industry clusters to empower business growth for companies and knowledge workers all over the world.
Ayorinde, said with the deal, the United Arab Emirates is expected to bring multi-billion dollars investments to the State, create thousands of jobs and transform the Ibeju-Lekki axis in particular and the entire Lagos State in general.
“This is a deliberate attempt by us to establish a strong convergence between technology, economic development and governance.
“The MOU is between Lagos State Government and Dubai Holdings, LLC, owners of Smart City (Dubai) to develop a sustainable, smart, globally connected knowledge-based communities that drive knowledge economy,â€ Governor Ambode said.
The Governor stated that the collaboration is part of the larger vision to make Lagos safer, cleaner and more prosperous.
“A Smart-City Lagos will be the pride of all Lagosians just as we have Smart City Dubai, Smart-City Malta and Smart-City Kochi (India). We are encouraged by the fact that we do not, as a government, need to develop at a slow pace, but take full advantage of the digital age and fast track development of Lagos to a real megalopolis that we can all be proud of.
“The future is ours to take. It also marks the first smart city in Africa when completed.”
The Governor added that apart from creating jobs for the people, the project would also become the world’s first carbon neutral city.
“Lagos,” he said, “will become an important centre for innovation in smart technologies, wellness and destination for green tourism.”
Earlier in his remarks, Byat said the Dubai authorities were impressed with the conduct and readiness of Lagos State Government and were eager to proceed with the State Government and the Smart City Lagos project.