IBM'S Report, A Validation of LASG's Transportation Initiatives - Fashola
…As IBM hinges choice of Lagos on its being most progressive State
Jun 14, 2013 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Friday led a team of members of the State Executive Council at the presentation of the IBM Smarter Transportation Initiative report by the Lagos Team of the IBM Executive Service Corps, saying it represents a validation of what the state is doing and recommendations on how it can do them better.
The Governor who answered reporters' questions at the Lagos House, Marina, venue of the report presentation said from the reports presented Lagos is ahead of some cities and behind some cities, adding that the result symbolizes the essence of competitions of nations across the globe.
"That is what is obtainable for such competitions between nations all over the world. The results has always been that the countries that continue to innovate will leapfrog to the front while those that refuse to adapt will be compelled to do so in a very costly way".
The Governor said the IBM Smarter City challenge is a grant by IBM to various cities across the world as part of their input back into the societies where they do business in order to help move lives and cuts across sectors.
He explained that Lagos chose transportation sector as the area where it wanted to use the grant to examine what the state has already done, suggest what it can do better and also recommend ways of doing them.
"It is about the inter-modality nature of our transportation plan. Yes some of the recommendations from IBM validate what we are doing. There are suggestions on the use of technology and the use of communication tools for making choices available to commuters and also suggested the use of GPS and SMS which validate what the State Government has already done with the State Traffic Radio".
"The report also reinforced the need for us to optimize existing capacity so that what the state has must work first and they also recommended that we start slow and grow it progressively in recognition of the fact that we are implementing many traffic infrastructure solutions simultaneously", he stated.
The Governor also said the IBM report while commending the State Government also charged it to complete the traffic infrastructure solutions and put them to use while managing public expectations about when all of them will come on stream.
Governor Fashola also told the newsmen that he engaged the team from IBM on how both sides could share their experience on a periodic basis especially with students of the School of Transportation at the Lagos State University, Ojo, saying they are excited about the collaboration.
He explained that IBM has already established interaction centres and will be working with the school, adding that the students are also excited about opportunities to establish opportunities for internship and exchange visits.
While giving an insight into the IBM Smarter City challenge, the State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Adebiyi Mabadeje said it is a grant from IBM which is given to cities and not a project per se.
"They have just come to help us in areas where they think IBM has some expertise in and what we chose was our transport sector. What they have done today after three weeks engagement is just to present their recommendation and so far we have not studied them in depth but what we have validates what we are doing",he added.
Also speaking on what informed the choice of Lagos, the Country Manager of IBM West Africa, Mr Taiwo Otiti said Lagos was chosen because it is the most progressive state in Nigeria.
He said the Smarter City challenge is about IBM putting something back in the countries where it had invested and chose Lagos because it had many city management projects that were dealing with smarter cities.
"They were also doing things in terms of health, education and we asked them to pick one area they will like us to look at and we give them the best practices view as IBM sees it because "we are having a look at smarter cities engagement across the world", he stated.
Among those who were present during the report presentation were members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioners for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat while those on the Lagos Team of the IBM Executive Service Corp include Director, Smarter Solutions, Canada, Shelly Lowe, Distinguished Engineer, Telecom United States-Marc Segre, Director, IBM Marketing, US- Matthew Berry, IBM Lead Account Partner UK, Rob Wilmot and Director of Finance, IBM CIO Office, US, Brad Gibson.