By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu have stressed the need for provision of data for meaningful development in delivering dividends of democracy to the citizens.
The duo made the remark on Thursday, at the second edition of
2020 Art of Technology conference, themed: “Smart data, Smarter Lagos,” organised by the state government, held in Lagos.
The event with the theme:”Smart Data. Smarter Lagos,” also had the Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Plc, Dr. Demola Sogunle as keynote speaker.
Osinbajo who joined the event virtually to deliver his address, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is working round the clock to make Nigeria a smart country noting that human creativeness and ingenuities were major assets needed to make the society a smart place.
The Vice President noted that “as we contend with the challenge of providing the means of self-actualization for nearly 200 million people and one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, it is clear that we must marshal the resourcefulness and ingenuity of our citizens in the quest for development and growth. Developmental governance in the 21st century is about continuously deploying innovative solutions against our most complex challenges.”
Speaking about the adoption of innovative solutions to address some complex issues bothering on governance and the economy, the Vice President said that “smart cities leverage data to make decisions across board. Economic data, consumption data, demographic data, population data, health data, are all important factors. Across all levels of government, we need to raise our capacity to harvest, track, and analyze data and ground policies in empirical evidence.”
He added that “Data is at the heart of developmental governance. Indeed, I would argue that governments need big data even more than corporations do. Whether we are discussing urban planning and public administration or economic planning and security strategy, it is impossible to attain mastery over these fields without a healthy regard for data.”
Making reference to the measures adopted by the Buhari administration in leveraging the use of data, Prof. Osinbajo said “…in December last year I inaugurated the steering committee for the GRID-3 Nigeria project. GRID-3 is the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development. It is a $50 million project in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Foreign Development Office to generate, validate and use geospatial data on population, settlements, infrastructure and sub-national boundaries.”
“The project has led to the launch of the GRID-3 Nigeria portal, which provides access to accurate, complete, and geospatially referenced data relevant to a variety of sectors”, he added.
He stated that Buhari’s administration would continue to pursue its digital and technology driven agenda to keep the country at pace with the rest of the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Samwo-Olu, reiterated commitment of his administration to make Lagos Smart City by digitalizing every operations in the state with the aim of making it the smartest City in the country.
He affirmed that the state is leaving no stone unturned to give residents sound governance through data gathering.
He said “We need to know ourselves, so with data obtained from Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) and other agencies, we shall be able to plan well, take sound decisions and make better policies.
” All these efforts are gear towards making Lagos a smarter city in every sector of our economy in line with our economic agenda of THEMES. We are deploying 6000 kilometers fiber boxes in in every nooks and crannies of the state, we are working with Discos to ensure that power is stable in the state because we can’t operate without power supply”.