Germany to assist Nigeria develop Smart Cities

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Representative Image
H.E. Marcel de SOUZA (right) and H.E. Dr. Schlagheck, Ambassador of Germany in Nigeria (left)

ABUJA: At the end of a two-day Summit on Smart Cities in Abuja, the German Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Bernhard Schlagheck expressed that Germany is willing to support Nigeria in improving her urban areas through the development of the ‘Smart City’ initiative.

The Summit organised by the Ministry of Communications with the theme: `Leveraging on Technology Solutions to Improve the Efficiency of Cities’, was aimed at assessing the preparedness, unique challenges and emerging solutions necessary for sustainable smart city initiative in Nigeria.

Schlagheck said that Germany was interested in partnering with Nigeria in this regard because they feel that it is the right thing to do if Nigeria must overcome issues associated with urbanisation and development. According to him, no less than two third of world population would be living in cities within the next few years. He said this may likely pose a plethora of challenges to Nigeria if proactive actions are not made to address the development.

Factors like infrastructural deficiency, lack of planning and insecurity among others were identified as the bane of Nigeria’s development, noting that these challenges can be surmounted with the deployment of relevant modern technologies. The Managing Director of Huawei Nigeria, Tank Li, who was also a speaker at the Summit, noted that the development and widespread application of digital technologies to transform lives and economies have become the order of the day.

Huawei Nigeria boss commended the federal government’s plan to launch the ‘Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project’ aimed to solve efficiency problems and create leapfrog opportunities in the economy for the next 10 years.

“Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, OkechukwuEnelamah, said the financial services within the country’s digital economy would add $88 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create more than 3 million jobs within 10 years. “The potential gains of the digital economy will manifest in digital accounts, payments, mobile money, health and educational services along with other sectors of the economy,” he said.