Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade and the management team of Information Communication Technology (ICT) giant, Huawei have held the first technical session on the Calabar Smart City Project.
Ayade, who was accompanied by some of his commissioners and special advisers, met with the Huawei team at their global headquarters in China.
The agenda of the meeting centered on the design of the Calabar Smart City Project recently signed with the Chinese firm to make Calabar the first smart city in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that in 2013, Senator Liyel Imoke led government signed a N1.1 billion Naira Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the state government and MTN to turn Calabar into a Smart city and development of various third party services enabled by broadband such as city-wide wireless fidelity (wifi), access to various government services, electronic ticketing, smart transport, smart education, smart health, e-tourism and creation of Nigeria’s first smart city.
According to then Special Adviser on Communication Technology Development to Governor Imoke, Mr. Odo Effiong, with the completion of this infrastructure within nine months “Calabar is set to become Nigeria’s first smart city.”
This vision was never achieved until the end of the administration in May, 2015. It is still not clear If Governor Ayade current smart city project is building on the foundations by the previous administration or it is starting a new smart city project.