EXECUTIVE Vice Chairman of
the Nigerian Communications
Commission, Prof Umar
Garba Danbatta, has called for
alignment of synergy between
the public and private sectors
with a view to attaining the goal
of smart cities in the country.
Danbatta spoke yesterday in
Abuja while chairing a session
to discuss “Building Innovative
Public Private Partnerships
for Achieving Nigerian Smart
Cities Vision”, at a conference,
Smart Cities Nigeria, organized
by the Federal Ministry of
Communications.
He said, “To ensure the
deployment of required
infrastructure towards meeting
the National Broadband Plan
objectives as well as building
the foundation for smart cities
in Nigeria, there is the need for
partnerships and collaborations
between the public and private
sectors,” he pointed out.
According to the professor of
telecommunications, however,
the partnerships should aim
at aligning the government’s
objectives of driving pervasive
broadband infrastructure for
socio-economic development
in the country and the objective
of private sector for business
opportunities.
“This alignment of objectives
requires innovative funding
and financing mechanism as
well as incentives that will
provide the required impetus
for the private sector to take
lead in driving the attainment
of smart cities in Nigeria,” he
noted.
He, however, observed
that the government’s role of
providing clear policy and
regulatory frameworks needs
to be translated to concentrate
actions in terms of articulating a
clear roadmap, implementation
plan and coordination
mechanism towards the
attainment of relevant
stakeholders’ objectives.
Speaking further, Danbatta
said, “Internet of Things IOT,
is the next big thing in the
evolution of the information
and communications
Technology space”, stressing
that IOT is a key aspect of
smart cities that Nigeria aims
to achieve.
He listed areas in need of
special attention as: expansion
of required ICT infrastructure
in the cities that aim to become
smart cities, addressing power
supply challenges, high
Right of Way (RoW) charges,
and multiple taxation and
regulation.
Other challenges according
to him are: availability of
frequency spectrum, level
of digital literacy, effective
communication of the value
and benefits of Smart Cities
to key stakeholders, and
lastly, developing business
models that take Nigeria
operating environment into
consideration.

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