Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has called on real estate industry leaders to harness the potentials of the sector to stimulate economic growth while creating more smart cities solutions in the country. He assured that ‘government is determined to put in place measures that will strengthen and create more smart cities solutions in the country.’
The Vice president, who made the call at the 2019 Sustainable Smart Cities award in Abuja, during which Cosgrove Investment Limited was named as the ‘Best Residential Innovation and Real Estate Developer of the year,’ said government is anxious to collaborate with Nigeria’s smart cities leaders to solve the economic challenges facing the country.
The CEO Afritex, Mr Sola Owuru commended Cosgrove’s penchant for innovations in housing technology. He said: ‘Cosgrove’s contributions in Research and Development in Smart Cities Space and building homes that are uncommon and sustainably ready for tomorrow’s technology is an exceptional achievement that is important to the continued growth of Smart Cities initiative in Nigeria and Africa at large.’
Earlier, in his keynote address, the Vice President identified natural disasters as one of the possible consequences of failing to embrace advancement in technology, noting that innovation and smartness of cities have become necessary because cities are threatened by the disadvantages of failing to embrace innovative technology.
‘For this reason, governments in the world are forced to rely on ICT and smartness of cities to help protect public safety,’ he said.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Communications Technology, Barr Adebayo Shittu noted that ‘Nigeria believes that safety and security infrastructure are part of economic infrastructure,’ adding that ‘it will improve security indexes and public safety as well as enhance traffic safety while also improving the social image of public safety agencies, and improvement in international image of the country.’
While saying that ICT and its accompanying innovations will guarantee economic development, he expressed delight in the focus for this year’s Smart Cities Forum, which is “Innovation in sustainable smart cities and connected homes,” stating that it is a blueprint for Nigeria.
While saying that Nigeria has the fastest growing ICT and telecom industry in the world, he called on awardees to encourage bringing connectivity to rural areas, saying that although it is a commercially challenging task, but innovative solutions are in sight with several projects underway.
“Let me reiterate that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to build a better future for Nigeria, using innovation in science and technology.
“Already, the Fed executive Council has approved an ICT Roadmap which execution will reach 2020, a Science and Technology Roadmaps which began in 2017 and will last till 2030.
He said the aim of the road map is to drive the initiative of seeking to develop and bring better lives for Nigerians using innovative technologies.
The Vice President commended the Ministry of Communications for their “relentless effort annually at setting agenda for the ICT sector on the best possible ways of transforming Nigeria’s ICT landscape.”
The CEO Cosgrove, Mr Umar Abdullahi who was represented by the Head, Business Development and Strategy, Miss Chioma Ugwu thanked the Smart City Forum for the recognition and assured that Cosgrove will intensify its research and development in order to produce improved homes.
Other awardees include the Permanent Secretary, Arc. Sunny Echono; Chairman, Smart city Resorts, Sir Ademola Aladekomo; CEO, Legend by Sururban, Mr Bruce Ayonote; Mr Bimbo Abioye, CEO Fintrak Software; Huawei Technologies Limited, Dr Tunde Coker; CEO, Rack Centre, Ejike Nwosu; CEO Lumos Laboratories, Dr Yele Okeremi; CEO, Precise Financial Systems, Mr Aliyu Aliyu; CEO, Bilaard Reality and the ESV Rowland Abonta who is Managing Partner, Rowland Abonta and company.