The Lagos State Government has signed an investment deal with the City of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The deal is expected to bring multi-billion dollar investments to Lagos, create thousands of jobs and transform the state, a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the Memorandum of Understanding for the Lagos Smart City was signed at the Emirate Towers, Dubai, by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, and the Chief Executive Officer of Smart City Dubai LLC, Mr. Jabber Bin Hafez.
It said the signing of the MoU, which would make Lagos the home of the first smart city in Africa, was witnessed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Dubai Holdings, Ahmad Bin Byat, and the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
“The Lagos State Government and the City of Dubai on Monday entered into a historic partnership that will see Lagos emerge as the first smart city in Africa.
“A smart city is a growing concept that draws from the success of Dubai’s innovative knowledge-based industry clusters to empower business growth for companies all over the world,” the statement added.
Ambode was quoted to have said the agreement would help to establish “a strong convergence among technology, economic development and governance.”
He reportedly said the partnership would also help to develop knowledge-based communities to drive a sustainable economy.
The governor, in the statement, said that the collaboration was part of a 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 the development of Lagos to a real megacity that we can all be proud of. The future is ours to take. It would also be the first smart city in Africa when completed,” Ambode said in the statement.
He said apart from creating jobs for people, the project would also become the world’s first carbon-neutral city.
Earlier, the Deputy Prime Minister, Bin Byat, said the Dubai authorities were impressed with the conduct and readiness of the Lagos State Government and were eager to proceed with the Smart City Lagos project.