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Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, addressing participants at the Smart City Initiative Summit in Abuja on Tuesday

Digital is future cities, Nigeria can’t afford to lag behind—Osinbajo

…Says implementation’ll be difficult

The acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, in Abuja on Tuesday, made it clear that as the entire globe is drifting towards digital economy and allied city infrastructures, Nigeria cannot stand alone but join the comity of nations.

However, he was quick to hint that “As much as the initiative of smart cities is incredible and rational, its policy implementation on Nigeria at the given socioeconomic condition might be a bit difficult”.

In his Keynote address as the special guest of honour at the Smart City Initiatives in Nigeria summit in Abuja, he said “As our world is rapidly developing and our cities are pressured to deliver on basic amenities with limited resources, government, leaders and decision makers at various levels are asking the question: How will our cities transforms into smart cities? What are the best steps towards achieving this? What is the role of government in the Nigerian Smart City Initiative? Etc”.

Explaining issues on the chosen theme; “Leveraging on Technology Solutions to improve Efficiency of Cities,” he said “The world, as we know, is experiencing a shift from the traditional ways of doing things to a more ICT-driven approach where government and city administrators are forced to use technology to shape policy, make informed decisions and deliver quality public services’.

Continuing, he said “The 21st century has seen developments in ICT and telecommunications services that give people liberty for more choice, more freedom and opportunities of all kinds. They have opened up new avenues for economic growth and social well-being.  Looking at the world at large, developing and developed, we are in the era whereby computing or activities in the cyber world are ubiquitous and most importantly done through mobile supercomputing”.

“There is existence of artificially-intelligent robots, self-driving cars, neuro-technological brain enhancements, genetic editing etc. all these are as a result of a dramatic change which is around us and happening at unimaginable speeds.

Osinbajo added that government is determined as a nation to progress taking our entire citizen along, irrespective of class differences, and catering to everyone’s need equally.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu said the key target and objectives of the Smart City initiative include to tap into the vast knowledge of experts in the smart city space, and leverage on their experience to assist the federal government in developing practical steps and solutions that will assist the relevant MDA’s in formulating a unified and national robust Roadmap towards an effective smart cities initiative for Nigeria.

In his submission, Shittu argued that “It is also intended to x-ray the   huge business opportunities for providers of smart city technologies to exhibit and pitch their solutions and products to Federal, State and Local Government top officials, and real estate developers who are all here as our special guests”.

Business Hilights recalls that the summit was rescheduled to August due to delays in the passage of the national budget on which the funding depended.

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