The government of Cross River state in Nigeria has signed a deal with Huawei to make the state capital Calabar a smart city. As part of the deal, Huawei will lay fibre optic cables to homes in the capital city. Commenting on this, the governor of the state, Ben Ayade said “This will be the first time that data would be provided from the cloud. With this digital cloud, it will offer opportunity to get information with ease and comfort, including boosting research and academic works ….the project is in partnership with Huawei of China, the equipment manufacturer, and Sino Infrastructure Development Company Limited, as the technical partner in Nigeria for the project. This partnership will provide cheap access to connectivity. Cross Riverians will know that Huawei is bringing the best technology to us. They are a known name in the world and a pace setter in the industry. Cross River deserves only the best which they have to offer.”
On his own part, the state Commissioner for ICT Chief Offu Aya commended Huawei for what he said was a good job done in China. “You have taken us to China to appreciate what Huawei has done in that country, a country with about 1.7 billion people (even though the figure doesn’t tally with official figures of 1.3 billion), and how Huawei has turned China into a huge smart city and we have come back with a detailed report. Today is a very unique day for the ministry, as before the carnival, the pilot scheme will be ready where there will be free Wi-Fi services. This will make Calabar the first smart city in Nigeria, it will benefit Cross Riverians and Nigerians as it will make communication faster and easier.”
Managing Director of Sino Infrastructure Development Company, Li Yamping, said, “Huawei and the Cross River Government will work as technical partners on the project and will both maintain the required standard and deliver as at when due.”
Cross River state has a population of 3.7 million people with about 380,000 of those people living in Calabar. Regardless of its size though, it has come to be associated with tourism. The state plays host to names like Tinapa, Obudu cattle ranch among others. By reason of this, it also welcomes millions of visitors from Nigeria and other parts of the world annually and it only makes sense that the state combines its potentials with technology. Like its western counterparts, it can offer visitors access to internet based tourism maps among others.