Abuja — Germany has expressed willingness to assist Nigeria improve her urban areas through the development of the 'Smart City' initiative.
German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck, who made the disclosure thursday in a goodwill message at the close of a two-day Summit on Smart Cities in Abuja, said his country is ready to partner Nigeria from the debate stage right through to the implementation level.
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 his country wants to partner Nigeria in this regard because it believes it is the right way to go if Nigeria must overcome issues associated with urbanisation and development.
The envoy commended the organisers of the summit for the timely convergence of relevant stakeholders to tackle the issue of urban 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.
He identified factors such as infrastructural deficiency, lack of planning, insecurity among others as the bane of Nigeria's development, noting that these challenges can be surmounted with the deployment of relevant modern technologies.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Huawei Nigeria, Tank Li, noted that the development and widespread application of digital technologies to transform lives and economies have become the order of the day.
He said ICT-enabled technologies and solutions have the huge potential to serve as a major accelerator of the vision of 'Smart Nigeria Digital Economy' and its sustainable development goal.
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, Okechukwu Enelamah, 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.
While stating that Huawei as a global leading ICT solution provider has strong presence in over 170 countries and regions, including Nigeria, Li assured Nigeria of Huawei's readiness to help the country to bridge her digital divide as well as building a Smart Nigeria!
He disclosed that relevant ICT products that would make Nigerian cities smarter are not only available in the country today, but are already been deployed across states of the federation.
According to him the deployment of high sensitive digital cameras connected to a central data system in places where they are in use is beginning to reduce crime level in such places.
Li expressed confidence that when Nigerian cities become safer through the deployment of the Safe City Solutions, foreigners would want to come and invest in the country.