Lagos will leverage on Technology for smart city dream—Sanwo-Olu

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By Moses Adeniyi

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has affirmed the tactical measures towards actualising the Lagos Smart City dream, revealing that new technological links and infrastructures would serve has the foundation.

This was disclosed on Thursday in Lagos at the opening ceremony of the “Art of Technology Lagos 1.0”, a means the Governor described as the platform on which the future of Lagos State as a smart city will be unravelled.

Sanwo-Olu added that the “Art of Technology 1.0” will open the window for ideas, concepts and principles buried in the creative recesses of Lagosians to break out and transform the landscape.

He declared that the State Government is ready to open and connect Lagos to the world through Technology.

The Governor stated further that use of artificial intelligence to predict movement of human resources and materials to reverse environmental degradation are measures that require to be adopted for critical solutions.

“It is with pleasure that I welcome you to the Art of Technology 1.0.

“This is the platform on which the future of Lagos State as a smart city will be unravelled.

“Lagos State, the smallest in land size, is the socioeconomic hub of Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub region with a GDP of $136 million and the 3rd largest economy in Africa.

“At the inception of our administration, we had a vision of growing Lagos State with a population above 20 million from a mega city to a smart city equipped with infrastructure and facilities that work seamlessly to enhance life experiences.

“Our dreams and vision of transforming the landscape in Lagos State was anchored on the pillars of our administration’s “T.H.EM.E.S” philosophy to tackle perceived challenges.” Sanwo-Olu said.

The Governor highlighted the  challenges currently facing Lagos as an emerging mega city as the administration and management of integrated and intermodal transportation to ease movement of human and material assets; access to human capital development through quality education; promotion of entertainment; arts and culture as socioeconomic enterprise vehicles driven by technology.

Commenting on Lagos challenges , Sanwo-Olu said; “We cannot disaffirm the intractable challenges we face as a State.

“With a population of about 22 million and a crumbling infrastructure, new sustainable methods of transportation and infrastructure deployment must be formulated to keep up with the population growth.

“Our challenges put us in a unique position to engineer not just our own solutions but engineer solutions for the world at large”.

The Governor added that the State Government is set to drive its strategy of potential solutions to address the challenges facing the State through innovations in science and technology.

“In View of these and other issues, our administration is committed to releasing and turbo charging our nascent problem solving potential through innovations in science and technology.

“It is instructive to note that technology has redefined the way we live and think.

“Indeed, it is the bedrock of social integration and harmony because of its multiple applications to solve or enhance the art of living itself.

“We are prepared to provide Lagosians with the opportunity to connect on the global stage.”

Moreover, the Governor flagged-off an “Innovation Master Plan” as a measure of highlighting the government’s critical areas of focus to unleash a culture of problem solving.

The plan is anchored on the identification of four major pillars_Access, Talent, Infrastructure and Funding (ATIF), as areas requiring attention in building a comprehensive technology ecosystem in the State.

“Access: From Access to data and Access to markets. Making accessibility easier enables creators get the tools and critical ingredients they need to engineer fit for purpose solutions

“Talent: Updated Curriculums that match industry needs are critical areas this administration will look to address

“Infrastructure: Broadband communications cannot be overemphasized in the building of a comprehensive technology ecosystem. The administration has already begun to address this

“Funding: One critical challenge has been the lack of understanding of our local technology ecosystem by our investors. We will tackle this head on,” the Governor expounded.

He stressed that with his Administration’s activities “in these 4 main areas of the innovation ecosystem is sure to receive the needed boost to raise its contribution to the state’s economy.”

Sanwo-Olu stated: “There is no gainsaying the fact that any society that wants to be reckoned with on the global stage must be grounded in the application of technology to growth and development.

“It is, also, gratifying to note that the world has accepted that Lagos State is the “Silicon Valley” of the African Continent with major investments by Microsoft and Google in the Ikeja based “Computer Village” and emerging tech hubs which have served as launch pads for the digital careers of numerous youths as software developers.

“We have provided more opportunities for our children in the public primary and secondary schools to acquire ICT knowledge through exposure to Coding.

“There are many opportunities available for the development of software that can transform the way we see, do or think about life activities.

He added that the re-ignition of the Lagos State Science, Research & Innovation Council (LASSRIC)   is responsible for the management of the Science Research and Innovation fund.

According to him the fund is primarily tasked with investment in research and development in science and technology across different thematic areas in the state, “from Artificial Intelligence to robotics, to health informatics and green energy.

“The Lagos State Science Research & Innovation Council will direct funds to solve issues of national significance through science and technology research.” He added.

Commenting on the Lagos State Solutions Hub he said, “Democratizing access to state actors is a critical strategy of this government as such, the Lagos State solutions Hub serves as the first point of call for innovators, solutions providers and innovators on proposing their solutions to the state.

“We realize crowd sourcing and inclusive strategies are key ingredients to solve the myriad of challenges we face.

“The Solutions Hub will enable us to evaluate different solutions form you our most important stakeholders. The website is LagosSolutionsHub.com.

On the Open Government Initiative, he stated:  “Data Access is seen as critical for the building blocks of a solutions culture.

“Open data promotes inclusiveness, participation and more fit for purpose solutions. The Open Government initiative has kicked off and we will be communicating subsequent milestones with the public soon

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