Lagos State government is working on a proposal to construct what will be the largest and up-to-date Internet City in West Africa. The project is to be sited at Katangua in Alimosho local government area of the state.
The Internet City would not just be a market for the sale of telephones, computers and accessories, but a technology hub for West Africa, that is expected to attract further investments by big names such Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and several others, and would provide opportunity for employment and self-development for young talented Nigerians.
The project is coming as the state dismissed allegation by Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) that the government was reluctant to grant approval to their proposed Digital Village at the same Katangua, for the relocation of the Computer Village market in Ikeja.
Toyin Ayinde, the state commissioner for physical planning and urban development, in an interview with BusinessDay, said the government is currently working on a proposal submitted by a group in Public-Private Partnership capacity to develop the Internet City at Katangua, and was not in the know of any other plans by any group or investors to build a Digital Village at the same location.
Ayinde told BusinessDay that the proposal submitted to the government and extensively discussed, had been approved by the state executive council, and base on this, the state government is proposing an enlarged stakeholders’ meeting of which CAPDAN is a part, to further explore discuss the proposed Internet City.
According to Ayinde, before the receipt of the proposal for the Internet City, CAPDAN and other bidders had twice failed to meet up with requirements including funding capacity for the project, a development which made the government to consider a new option to actualise the project.
He noted that it was after the proposal for the Internet City was submitted, discussed and approved by the state executive council, “that CAPDAN came to me to say they have somebody to fund their own project.”
“But we told them that we have approved a proposal and pursuing its realisation.
As a serious government, we do not go back and forth. As I speak, we have arranged to pay compensation to people to be relocated from Katangua.
So we are going to have Internet City in Katangua and. This is fully captured within the Alimosho model city plan,” said Ayinde who further informed that the state ministry of science and technology is collaborating with his ministry to actualise the project.