According to reports by the Nigerian Communications Week, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, speaking at a Smart Cities summit held in Abuja this week confirmed that the Federal Government would partner with Huawei, a global technology giant, in its smart cities initiative. The partnership with Huawei provides the foundation to reshape the way public services are provided and managed in Nigeria, according to the minister.
Shittu said that, “More people now have access to smart phones. Experts said that smart phones users in Africa will increase from 75 million in the first quarter of 2016 to 512 million 2018.”
The minister pointed out that Smart Cities would promote open data and help manage government resources which in turn helps to get more revenue for the government.
“Nigeria is a journey of greatness and together we will arrive at the destination of our dreams. In order to encourage competition among States and Local governments, the Ministry of Communications would soon launch the Smart City competition, this is to encourage them to take a bolder steps go the level of digital technology. I urge stakeholders to partner with the ministry to create smart cities in Nigeria.”
According to IT Pulse, Mr Tank Li, managing director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited, highlighted how the development and widespread application of digital technologies has transformed lives in a profound way.
He noted, “Data flow and economic development have become the big trends of our time; digital economy is a new form of economy in which everyone can share. Digital economy refers to an economic system in which digital technologies are widely applied, revolutionizing the whole economic environment and activities. Digital economy is also a brand new socio-political and economic system in which all information and commercial activities are digitised.
“Businesses, consumers and governments do business via the Internet, allowing for rapid business growth. Digital economy focuses on commodities and services whose production, distribution, and sales all rely on digital technologies.
“We project in the near future a digital economy that will bring about enormous changes in society. We simply have no way of knowing how deep and far-reaching these changes will be. However, we can be sure of one thing, that ICT will be the cornerstone of this digital economy.
He said, “This fourth industrial revolution is going to impact people’s lives in unimaginable ways and this will happen through the convergence of the cyber and physical worlds. The Internet of Things is automatic ‘smart’ communication between objects, through the internet.
“Nigerian government has realized the potential of its digital economy. Unlocking the dividends of digital economy becomes imperative in the face of dwindling oil revenue with increasingly pressure on the economy evident in budgets deficit, infrastructural deficit, high unemployment rate, harsh business environment and corruption amongst others,” Li concluded.