“………. Beyond Lagos being a mega city but to build and project the state as a smart city………… a smart governor who, perhaps, also doubles as its Chief Resilient Officer”.
-Steve Ayorinde (Lagos State Commissioner for Information & Strategy).
- The short term plan of Lagos city state leadership is to strengthen its economic foundation in order to be able to carry the historical, political and socio-cultural responsibilities of a global mega city.
- Right now, Lagos city state (known as Lagos mega city) is the 6th largest city in the world and has the smallest land mass in Africa. It is projected to the 3rd biggest conurbation in the world by 2017 (at the 50th anniversary year).
- The current estimated population is about 22 million (August 2016). Economically, it is the 6th biggest economy in Africa and second in West Africa (after the Nigerian economy). Currently the IGR is about N25 billion monthly which is more than the sum of the IGR of 31 states (36 + FCT make up Nigeria). The projection is that the IGR will be doubled (N50 billion) monthly on or before 2020.
- The first successful discovered oil field (outside Niger Delta) of which 4 (well 1, 2, 4 & 5) and 5 of the wells are within 200 meters 180 baths of the Lagos City State. The Aje oil field is been managed by Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Ltd. “The discovery of oil in Lagos is significant for Nigeria….” It means that a new path to diversification is what we are now witnessing. We will also encourage other states to start activating their mineral deposits to expand their IGR” – Governor of Lagos City State (Mr Akinwumi Ambode).
- The newly signed MOU for the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge based on the PPP initiative (40 years) of Built, Operate & Transfer will open up the Epe division (one of the original 5) and link it as well as Ikorodu with Lagos Lekki development corridor. It will also start off the outer Lagos Island ring road that might cut across the old five divisions. It will be a planning tool for the organic growth of Lagos mega city as a major infrastructural input into Lagos development that will galvanize the existing sprawling into modernized organic urban settlements.
- The 3 flyovers (Ajah roundabout, Abule Egba and Pen Cinema) are major efforts to free the traffic at those critical junctions of the Lagos mega city. The proposed Pen Cinema flyover will be 700 meters long with junction improvement at Pen Cinema it will also accommodate a generous walkway like the one on Ikorodu Expressway. The additional reduction in the number of roundabouts on the Lagos-Epe Expressway in Lekki Peninsular (at the 4th roundabout-Elegushi, 5th roundabout-Jakande and the 8th roundabout-VGC) is part of the traffic system management designed by the current leadership of the city state to enhance a free flow of traffic. They will be replaced by traffic lights and the provision of dedicated lanes for turning as well as additional lay-bys.
- The intensification of infrastructural development of Lekki Free Trade Zone – especially road networks in the Epe divisions is a preparation to off load the expected traffic off the Lagos-Epe expressway. Moreover, the Dangote Refinery within the Lekki developmental corridor is been encouraged by the leadership of the Lagos City State as a base to widening the industrialization as many of the by-products will be raw materials for many existing industries and new ones to be.
- In addition to strengthen the agricultural activities both in the rural and urban sectors of the mega city, Lagos state went into a joint venture with Kebbi and Niger states with the sole aim of producing rice in order to supplement and gradually overtake the existing importation to feed the 170 million population and gradually stop its importation to conserve the limited available foreign cash. It will be a job and wealth creation venture, in addition to fostering socio-cultural bridge (ties) between the South West and North West regions.
- The commencement of the implementation of the Lagos Enterprise GIS upgrade and the Integrated Land Administration Automation System will ensure a monitoring of government infrastructure for optimum benefit, fast track the ease of doing business as well as improving government-citizen relationship. This will be strengthen by the Smart City Project. The trio will help to promote and encourage a secondary mortgage market and facilitate investment in properties. While strengthen the security of the city state.
- The planed deployment of 13,000 Closed Circuit Television Camera, additional 6,000 streetlights with security sensors for surveillance cum crime prevention along with the installation of information fiber and deployment of 4GLT across the city state will aid the Smart City Project as e-services will cover almost all the sectors of city life i.e. e-health, e-agric, e-learning, e-commerce, e-governance and so on.
- In June 2016, the City State Authority signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Dubai towards a plan to build Africa’s biggest Smart City in Lagos – which is a growing concept that draws form the success of Dubai’s innovative knowledge-based industry clusters to empower business growth for companies and knowledge workers all over the world. The Media City, Internet City and Financial City – all within Dubai mega polis is the basis of this MOU which is the new trend in 21st century urbanism (urban planning). Lagos city is not alone in this direction as Malta, India, Kenya and a few others are on track in with the Smart City concept to enhance the 21st century urbanism. Ibeju-Lekki axis developmental corridor are the temporary targets of the proposed Lagos smart city; as it will later become a converging point of technology, economic development and governance because it will attract multi-billion dollar investments into the city state and create thousands of jobs.
- The admission of Lagos to the 100 Resilient Cities Network is one of the proves of Lagos preparation for its 50th anniversary by the City State Authority who has shown serious commitment to resilience building by their innovative and proactive ways they have been thinking about the challenges of the emerging mega city. The two essential elements of the current leadership system in use are:
- Innovative thinking that comes with courageous execution
- Prudent management of resource
The usage of these two elements is moving the city state in a resilience direction that is showing the following indexes:
- A resilient city that has good emergency response and meeting the needs of the citizens.
- A city that has diverse economies and takes care of both its built and natural infrastructures.
- A city that has effective leadership whose targets is to empower all the stakeholders and implement an integrated planning system.
The benefits of Lagos admission into the club of 100RC network includes the following:
- Lagos will gain access to tools, funding, technical expertise and other resource to build resilience for the challenges of the 21st
- Lagos will be eligible to receive grant funding to lure a Chief Resilient Officer who will lead the city-wide resilience building process and engage stakeholders from across different government agencies, public and private sectors and various communities to incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge.
- Lagos will also receive technical support to develop a Resilient strategy that reflects the city’s distinct needs and the support and services they need as they work towards implementing the strategy.
- Lagos is expected to gain access to a variety of work platform partners, who will offer tools and services valued at more than $180 million at no direct cost to 100RC members, in areas such as innovative finance, technology, infrastructure, land use, community and social resilience.
- Currently (2016), Lagos state was invited to join the Oodua Investment Company (owned by the 5 states in the South West Region – Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Ondo). The company was incorporated in 1976 to take over the business interest of the former Western states. The invitation to Lagos state to join the Oodu Investment Company is well understood because the state has been part of the Western region until October 1,1954 when the adoption of the Oliver Lyttelton constitution detached it form the region making it a federal territory. This is an open door to the South West regional integration (pioneered by Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state) to achieve inter co-operation, friendship and interdependence. This is a good example for the other 5 regions as each one should be allowed to develop organically on its own which will enhance unity, stability and better understanding.
- Environmental pollution (air, water, land) as a fallout of unsustainable urbanism and inefficient urban lifestyles. The effort of LAMATA which is proactive has helped in this direction but much needs to be done to uplift this city state’s status to that of a global mega city. Much needs to be done to attain the global standard in sustainable Air Quality Management (AQM).
- Inadequate fund to meet the required infrastructures that will uplift the existing standards into a global level. The monthly generated IGR of N25 billion plus the allocation coming from the Federal Account is currently placing the city state’s economy at not more than 50 percent each (capital to running cost). Therefore, the private sectors (local, continental and international) in partnership with the city state government will be a solid solution for infrastructural development.