BrandArena: IBM Helps Nigeria's Lagos State Design Transportation System for Future Growth

Monday, 17 June 2013

IBM Helps Nigeria's Lagos State Design Transportation System for Future Growth

A team of IBM experts completing a month-long pro bono consulting assignment, today presented recommendations to Nigeria's Lagos State Government to help ensure a more efficient flow of traffic in the city of Lagos. Africa's most populous city, Lagos has 20 million citizens.
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (centre)

Working with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, the agency responsible for developing and implementing the state’s transportation blueprint, and the Lagos State Ministries of Transportation, Works & Infrastructure, Science & Technology, the IBM team of experts proposed technology-driven strategies to make travel easier.

Located in West Africa’s rain forest belt, 20% of Lagos' geographical area is taken up by water, but most commuter travel in the state is by road.  City authorities predict a 350% growth in the number of vehicles in the state over the next 25 years, with the population doubling to 40 million by 2030. The potential of both rail and water transport remains largely untapped, carrying less than one percent of overall traffic in the state.

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola says, “The need to deploy innovative approaches that address civic challenges in Lagos State has never been greater. Keeping up with the state’s growing appetite for services and resources is a herculean and continuous process. Our ability and growing success in attracting home-grown and international trade and investment activity, is generating a need for better governance and management practices. Technology is the key to the future, and we welcome IBM’s support in this regard.”

The team's recommendations incorporated existing infrastructure, and proposed strategies for self-funded projects.

“IBM’s set of recommendations address our key transportation challenges and clearly enhance our ongoing efforts to fix the myriad of issues faced by our fast developing state,” Kayode Opeifa, Lagos State commissioner for transport said. Further confirming this point of view, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Lagos state commissioner for works and infrastructure said the state’s “blueprint for transforming our struggling infrastructure into a modern ecosystem driven by data intelligence and efficient resource management has been further authenticated by these set of recommendations from IBM.”

Lagos is West Africa’s leading commercial hub with the region’s largest air and seaports. The city generates 25% of national gross domestic product and its citizens account for 12% of Nigeria’s population.

“Lagos will continue to be a significant element of Africa’s economic success story, said Taiwo Otiti, IBM’s Country General Manager for West Africa.

The collaboration between Lagos and IBM was funded by a Smarter Cities Challenge grant -- one of only some 30 awarded globally for 2013.

Launched in 2011, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-city, US$50 million competitive grant program.  IBM's single-largest philanthropic initiative, the program assigns a team of six top IBM experts to each winning city to study a key issue identified by the city's leadership.   The program was inspired by the global migration to cities.

The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship program and IBM’s International Foundation. IBM has been a leader in corporate social responsibility and citizenship for more than 100 years.


  1. Centre of Excellence is always setting the pace.

  2. IBM bravo... This is pretty cool