Skyway Capital, a multinational company which specialises in innovative transport system, has selected Nigeria as the first country in Africa to benefit from its multi-billion dollar investment to support the development of urban environment and enhancement of economic growths within the country.
The ex-chairman of Amuwo-Odofin local government, Comrade Ayodele Adewale, disclosed this while delivering a keynote address at the International Skyway Capital Conference held at Edmark Centre, Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos on Friday.
According to him,”Nigeria has a huge long term economic potential. It is a country with a young and expanding population, a developing consumer class, a highly entrepreneurial business sector of small and medium enterprises and has abundance of human and natural resources.
”Our greatest economic strength is our demography.
”We are a key regional player in West Africa and has one of the biggest economy in Africa with approximately 184 million inhabitants in our space.
”Nigeria accounts for 47% of West Africa’s population, and has one of the largest population of youth in the world,” he said.
Ayodele stated that the UN predicts there will be a population rise to 260million by 2030 which will make Nigeria the 5th largest country in the world by population, adding that apopulation boom combined with an advantageous demographic composition represents a significant economic opportunity for foreign and local investors.
”This expanding population is rapidly urbanising and forming part of a growing middle class.
”However for the country to meet its potential and achieve prosperity we need a well -planned urbanisation framework that will help bost our development and control our growth.
”Unmanaged development of cities raises the costs of infrastructure and consumer goods, this creates congestion in the system, resulting to inefficient services and infrastructure such as housing, water, transportion, generation of higher levels of emissions, domestic waste, fostering of social unrest and instability in the society. All of which has a negative effect on the economy and quality of life of the people,” he said.
Ayodele said that it is critical that we start focussing on creating resilient eco friendly cities which have efficient and joined up services for effective urban planning and management of improved urban environments with sustainable transport systems and good governance.
”We need to start thinking out of the box and working smart!
”A good data gathering and analytics is needed to improve the lives of the citizens through proper planning of transport, education, healthcare and infrastructure for the use of innovative technology to solve specific problems; ensuring real collaborations and engagement with all stakeholders for our common good.
”When a government creates an environment for success, it enables the private sector to build value-added services on top.
”Smart cities significantly improve the economic development and welfare of its citizens through increased productivity; urban infrastructure; new employment opportunities, improved governance and capacity building,” he said.
Ayodele said further that creating smart cities also will have a great impacts on the environment as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from traffic congestion via sustainable transport policies will be of paramount importance and guarantee longevity of quality life and sustainable environment.
”The conference organised today is to give you an opportunity to hear from the Skyway Capital team about their high speed innovative eco transport technology that can create more efficiency for connecting people and services in an innovative, and productive way for a prosperous cities and communities in Nigeria.
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He listed the gains of the project as follows:
1. A technology that will complement and optimize a modern transport infrastructure; provide a fast and efficient means of travel via its eco string technology which is suspended 5-6 meters above the ground
2. Provide both metro and cargo systems that is 3-4 times cheaper than the usual railways, and can be constructed in any terrain and in all weather conditions.
3. That will aid mobility, reducing traffic congestion, easing distribution for industries, reducing cost of production and enhancing global competitiveness.
4. The technology generates its own energy which can also be used to power surrounding communities and facilities.
5. A technology that has no recourse to government funding except if government decide to get involve but will be supported by private investment, using local resources (steel) and manpower thus creating employment in the country.
”It is my hope that this conference will engender and provoke government and corporate interests in implementing this needed technology in Nigeria as it will place Nigeria on the world map and draw tourism to its optimum,” he averred.