By Prince Osuagwu
The Lagos state government is betting on technology to achieve its 2021 budget goals. Consequently, all ministries and parastatals in the state have also tilted their strategies towards adopting technology to align with the state’s goals and aspirations.
The state recently dropped the hint at a media roundtable on the Lagos 2021 budget. The roundtable that featured nearly all of the state’s commissioners and special advisers, including those for science and technology, transportation and infrastructure, education, health and finance, among others, exposed the massive adoptions of technology in state processes that have improved governance in the state.
Science and Technology
Hinting at the importance the state attaches to technology for good governance, Special Adviser on Technology and Innovation, Olatubosun Alake revealed that the state intends to increase the adoption of science and technology and creativity in the state, to be able to digitize governance.
He said that due to the overwhelmed ecosystem, the state needed a data architecture layer that would give it a smart city portfolio and to that end, the state has embarked on different technology adoptions that will help democratize data in the state. Some of the efforts include the deployment of more than 2,000 CCTV cameras to help manage traffic, large sums of money awarded as grants to some institutions in the country to facilitate research and development, and various grants to startups. to help cushion the effects of COVID. 19 about its operations.
According to Alake, “in addition to all this, the Lagos Open Source Project has helped to democratize software development not only in the state but in the country as a whole. We are also deploying a unified fiber infrastructure to transport telecommunications cables and other wired infrastructure in the state.
“This is to support telecom operators and other relevant public services, as well as to provide infrastructure and connectivity requirements for the state of Lagos. The project is a Dig Once policy in an attempt to eliminate piecemeal or constant excavation of state highways and associated rights of way from operators, ”he added.
Even in education, the Commissioner, Ms. Folasade Adefisayo, admitted that “the state has revolutionized our education sector with cutting-edge technology, constant teacher training, continuous renovation and construction of schools and the expansion of our centers for the acquisition of skills. We recognize that early childhood education is the foundation of all learning efforts, in our determination to leave no child behind; We launched the EKO EXCEL program to improve learning outcomes for our 19 children.
Again, we have deployed more than 9,000 devices in our schools and thus have been able to train 9,000 teachers while providing supplemental textbooks and other ancillary instructional aids for more than 350,000 students. These devices will serve as teaching aids. Under our school digitization program, we will also give our students electronic devices. “
Another bold technological provision for governance the state has taken is in the transportation sector.
According to Commissioner of Transportation, Dr. Fredrick Oladeinde, “Technology is evident in our approach to managing transportation and traffic. In line with this, we have embarked on synchronized signaling of our junctions and roundabouts to resolve 60 identified traffic jam points across the state, as well as converting six critical junctions and roundabouts (Ikotun, Opebi and the series into Lekki Epe Express Way) to increase vehicular capacity. We are also starting some strategic transportation projects that will depend to a great extent on technological advances ”.
Economic Planning and Budget Commissioner Mr. Sam Egube said: “With the technology, we were able to successfully restructure all existing internal loans from an interest rate of 20% to 12% and, in some cases, interest rates of single digit; resulting in a cumulative cost savings of N12 billion: Our debt portfolios will also be held to the greatest extent possible in Naira to reduce our risk of currency exposure.
“Another important achievement in the outgoing fiscal cycle is the successful revision of the 2018 Land Use Fee Law. The law now accommodates the yearnings of the Lagos people for a friendlier Land Use Fee Law, modern and realistic. 15 We firmly believe that with the new Land Use Tax Law and other complementary initiatives such as the E-GIS Electronic Platform, E-Tax and the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA), the sector will be better organized , providing a better service from the government to the stakeholders of the sector and increasing the income valid for the state of the sector “