(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Lagos State has set off an ambitious plan for its development over the next decade. By 2030, the State, which has the 5th largest economy in Africa, will have a running city-wide network of colour-coded Metro Lines that will move over 34.5 million people monthly and cut travel time in the metropolis drastically.
The key infrastructural deliverables being undertaken by the State were outlined during the recent 8th Lagos Economic Summit, otherwise known as Ehingbeti, a three-day event with the theme: “Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade”, which was facilitated by the organised private sector supported by the State Government.
The largely virtual summit, with some sessions held physically at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, was co-chaired by chairman of Citi Bank, Mr. Yemi Cardoso. It is an initiative introduced in 2000 as a biennial event aimed at creating a credible forum to discuss and formulate policies for accelerating infrastructural development and stimulating economic growth for Lagos.
This year’s edition of the event was virtually attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, newly appointed Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and President of Africa Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, and founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, among others.
Speaking at the summit, the Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu, revealed that it was expeditiously working towards digitising every community in Lagos, citing the ongoing laying of 6,000-kilometre fibre optic infrastructure across the city as evidence of his administration’s commitment to achieving its Smart City agenda, which will hopefully be achieved by 2030 when the entire landscape of Lagos would have been covered by a network of several thousands of kilometres of fibre optic carrying broadband internet into all homes, offices and schools.
The move, according to the governor, was to leverage technology to transform business culture in Lagos by empowering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which are the backbones of the State’s economy.
In his words: “I invite every well-meaning Nigerian to join me to look ahead at the next decade, and the possibilities that lie ahead for Lagos. What will Lagos State look like by 2030? There will be a city-wide network of colour-coded Metro Lines, the first two of which – Red and Blue lines – will move over 34.5 million people monthly, cutting travel time by over 250 per cent. In 2030, Lagos will proudly stand beside every other megacity in the world, in terms of its capacity to transport its people efficiently and responsively.
“Water transportation infrastructure being put in place will make waterway transport systems a central element of life in the metropolis. The Fourth Mainland Bridge will come to define the cityscape of the 2020s in the same way the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge defined it a decade earlier. By 2030, Lagos will be a Smart City, fully covered by a network of several thousands of kilometers of fibre optic infrastructure that will carry broadband internet into homes, offices and schools
“The Smart City that is unfolding will also be home to a network of intelligent cameras that will support not only security and policing across the State, but also traffic management and data collection for urban planning. By 2030, Lagos will be home to one of the largest Rice Mills in the world, after we deliver our 32 metric tons per hour rice factory in Imota, which will produce 2.8 million bags of 50kg bags of rice per annum.”
The Governor said the implementation of the plan would not only create millions of direct jobs for skilled youths, it would also empower women, who own substantial MSMEs in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said plans were underway in Lagos to reverse the tide of billions lost nationally to medical tourism. He disclosed that Lagos was pushing ahead with a move to develop a Medical Park in Ikoyi in partnership with the private sector, which is expected to offer world-class medical and diagnostic services.
He said his administration’s development blueprint, known as Project THEMES, was designed to build on the achievements of previous administrations and lay foundations for future growth.
Sanwo-Olu, having reviewed the progress recorded within the past decade, said there was so much to be celebrated in the State, but added that so much was needed to be done in expanding the frontiers of growth in Lagos.