The Smart City initiative has been going on for a while in Nigeria and at the just concluded summit, the Minister of Communication Barrister Adebayo Shittu disclosed that the Federal Government is embarking on the Smart City project in order to leverage technology solutions to improve the efficiency of cities across the country. He further iterated that the development of new technological innovations mainly ICTs – the concept of the “Smart City” has emerged as a means to achieve more efficient and sustainable cities.
What is this “Smart City” all about?
A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things (IoT) technology in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets. These assets include local departments’ information systems, schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services. A smart city is promoted to use urban informatics and technology to improve the efficiency of services. (Wikipedia)
It is no doubt that technology is constantly changing the way we live and it has obviously affected every area of our lives, from production to consumption and social lives. Technology facilitates effective interaction among citizens and the communities, with ICT, the government can monitor what is happening in the city, how the city is evolving and how to enable a better quality of life and also regulate citizens activities.
The Smart City initiative
The Smart City initiative was conceived by Government to address expansive city challenges, this idea will help the government to develop a strategic approach to address the technology gap in different sectors of the economy ranging from healthcare, transportation, oil & gas, education, environment and others.
The Smart City Initiative project is premised on public-private partnership model, with the private sector playing an active role in the drive and implementation of the various stages of the transformation. The key aim of the Smart Cities Nigeria 2017 Conference is to provide additional structure and content for an all-inclusive Smart City Initiative for Nigeria, bringing all stakeholders together through a bottom up approach, to develop concise innovation solutions and long-term vision.
The digital revolution which underlies the smart city concept has considerable potential to transform urban services and modes of city governance. The approach to smart city initiatives in any country, therefore, is very critical and must be a well thought out process.
There has been an argument if the Smart City proposition will see the light of the day, or get through to implementation stage, owning to the fact that little has been done on the part of the government to facilitate the implementation of some ICT projects in the country and the little that were done are not effective.
The benefit of a smart city includes an efficient management of resources (human, natural and capital). This revolves around improved productivity and services to individuals and businesses, adequate management and renewal of energy resources (oil and gas), waste management, high level of security and delivery of high standard education to our young ones. This will inevitably reduce operational costs, increase savings and invariably improve the quality of life of citizens and inhabitants of the city.
To achieve this feat as a country, the government should make available basic infrastructures that are functional and should be ready to make extra effort to manage them appropriately. This is one of the simplest ways our cities can be made safe, secure and habitable for us all.
Sidmach Exhibition at the Smart City Summit
Sidmach supports the Smart City initiative this is because over the years we have developed solutions that make work smarter and life better. Our solutions cuts across the different sector from education to health and governance. Our booth at the Summit attracted the attention of the Minister of communication who visited our stand to see how some of our solutions can be integrated into the Smart City agenda.