3 Major Indications that Lagos Is Ready To Achieve A “Smart” Status

With a booming urban population, many wonder how Africa will cope. Nevertheless, there are indications that Africa’s largest city is ready to start becoming a smart city by next year. One of the sprawling heartlands, Lagos, is in its relative infancy and set for growth support.

Tech-enabled Transport

Ride-hailing in Lagos has become a thing of the past. The increase of app-enabled services in the city suggests that its mobility landscape is set for an exciting change. 

Having attracted funding from around the world, especially from China, Lagos is mostly defining the e-hailing sector of entire Nigeria. The Populations Reference Bureau says the city will double in size over the next 15 years. This comes with a host of challenges for which larger tech solutions will be developed to ease the increasing distress. 

In October, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos would build a working helicopter transport system. The news, which came on the heels of the launch of UberBoat in the city, was topped up by a USD 5Mn spending by Eko Innovation Center to fix the hellish Lagos traffic. 

Established that traffic time, is reduced by 20 percent, would save Lagos State at least USD 1Bn yearly, e-hailing startups are increasing to reap the fruits of an increasingly digitized system. 

Better Housing

The housing problem in Lagos cannot be exaggerated. According to the State Commissioner for Environment, Babatunde Adejare, not less than 6,000 people come into the state on daily. While the cost of renting or buying a dream home in the city is high, Lagos reportedly needs more than 185,000 new buildings to reduce the housing deficit of about 3 million. 

In July 2019, a leading real estate developer in Sub-Saharan Africa, Rendeavour, committed USD 250 Mn to help Lagos build more infrastructure. The company that currently has a project in Alaro City within the Lekki Free Zone area plans to cap the investment with USD 1.5 Bn next year. 

Rendeavour plans to build 60,00 residences in Alaro City, while developing seven cities in (other parts of) Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Zambia. In conjunction with the Lagos State Government, they have planned Alaro City as a 2,000-hectare, market-led smart city project.

The transition from a megacity to a smart city will not be an easy one. But with more of the problems exposed and series of tech-enabled companies rising to the occasion, Africa’s largest city might finally break through the fence. 

Seed Fund For Tech by the Government

Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, recently said that it has given a seed fund of NGN 25 Mn (USD 687 K ) to the Lagos State Science and Tech Council that is meant to provide funding for the tech industry. According to the governor, the fund will be used to support tech entrepreneurs and innovation in Lagos. 

The establishment of the council asserted that the implementation of tactics that would assist the state to realize its Smart City Initiative. The USD 687K funding will also go into the research and development of tech-focused solutions across the six pillars of the agenda of the present administration. 

Lagos has also become one of the investment hotspots in the continent, as evidenced by almost USD 400 Mn being poured into the city’s fin-tech sector in a week. The city already has the makings of a gem in the crown of Nigerian tech.

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