Chinese technology companies, Huawei and Ehang, have expressed willingness to partner with Lagos State toward achieving the smart city project.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement on Thursday, said that the state was ready to take its rightful place in the comity of megacities by providing key technology and infrastructure required.
At separate meetings with the management teams of Ehang and Huawei, Sanwo-Olu said that the state was at the stage of building critical infrastructure that would make its city more habitable.
”We want technology to drive economic innovation, public security, health management, waste management, traffic management, government processes and services to the public.
”We do not have the big cheques to sign for this total transformation now, but it is a journey we know will take us into the future we really should be as Africa’s most populous city and seventh largest economy.
”The vitality of our 22 million people and political stability are valid collateral that should provide comfort in the collaboration we are seeking.
“Our government is determined to efficiently manage traffic and drive compliance with traffic rules from a single point.
”Traffic officials need to get equipped with gadgets that interface with the command centre real-time.
”Anyone who needs medical attention should be able to book hospital appointment and get matched with a doctor digitally. Public services and security should be executable online, real-time,” he said.
The governor and his team toured the smart city facilities of Ehang in Guangzhou and Huawei in Shenzhen.
The Managing Director of Huawei, Eric Zhang, said that the company was pleased that Lagos State was planning digitisation of its assets, processes, operations and public service facilities.
Zhang said that Lagos State needed the transformation and was capable of embarking on it.
”As someone who is very familiar with Nigeria and Lagos especially, Huawei is ready to work with Lagos on the transformation journey.
”I know that transforming Lagos into Smart-city is an exercise that will happen in phases, but the most important requirement is government commitment, which you have demonstrated”.
”Huawei will be happy to collaborate with you on the project and work with your government to gradually build a state of your vision.
”More importantly, the impact of this project on the economy, influence of Lagos State in the world and social security are convincing reasons that will make any organisation take interest in collaborating with Lagos State on a project of this significance,” he said.
Earlier, Sanwo-Olu called on the Ehang management, an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) technology company, for possible collaboration on providing facilities for emergency services and security agencies in the state.
He said that like other megacities in the world, Lagos State still faced some challenges that would require very innovative solution.
”For instance, emergency situations will require urgent and speedy response, just as when there are security challenges, because safety of lives and property are very important to our government,” he said.
The Director for Strategic Cooperation, Ehang, Ms. Shiny Biu, said that the firm remained open to partnering with the state and to discuss the appropriate models that would serve the goals of the two parties.
Ehang provides AAV products and commercial solution in urban air mobility, including passenger transportation and logistics, smart city management and aerial solutions.