Monday June 05, 2023

Communications Minister, Honourable Adebayo Shittu, yesterday played host to his colleagues - Lai Mohammed, Information; Chris Ngige, Labour and Employment ; Muhammad Bello, Federal Capital Territory, and many other heads of MDAs, including the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, as well as government officials, businessmen, and array of stakeholders who thronged the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja for the opening session of the Nigerian Smart City Summit.

The Summit, a programme of the Nigeria Smart City Initiative (NSCI) organised by the Federal Ministry of Communications in collaboration with AFRITEX Initiative, is a rare but quite exciting assemblage of government officials, urban planners and developers, policy makers, city administrators and other related stakeholders who saw the need to converge and reflect on how to develop effective strategies for emergence of the Smart City phenomenon in Nigeria.

Nigeria Smart City Summit
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Many presentations were made on the first day of the event. Among them is a paper by Chuks Okpaka, Country Managing Director of Hewlett Packard. Okpaka's paper titled DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE SMART CITY PLATFORM: ADDRESSING USABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY CONCERNS, highlighted the beauties of smart city which include better connectivity, better security, cyber security, predictive intelligence, better environment and control.

Among the gains of smart city, Okpaka noted, is safer driving through SWARM Intelligence and analytics. This involves the use of information gathered from other vehicles on the road (the 'swarm') and from infrastructure, and passing real-time contextual information to a specific car or other road users for better intelligence driving experience.

Another paper, presented by Demola Aladekomo of the Smart City, Lekki Lagos, titled: FRAMEWORKS AND MODELS FOR SMART CITIES INITIATIVES IN NIGERIA, emphasised the need to recognise population growth as an opportunity; accept rural-urban migration NOT as a threat but reality; the need to use agglomeration, polycentric approach to governance; utilisation of technology to leapfrog development planning; promotion of good governance and Rule of Law; and to build sustainable institutions.

The Summit continued with the promise of more exciting presentations on how ICTs can enable new, smart features in the modernisation of cities.