Naomi Gabriel —
The Niger State Government has revealed plans to build a multi-billion-naira project called Baro Smart Port City, in a bid towards developing a green economy and harnessing global paradigm shift in planning, development and management of human settlements.
Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme, Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, while confirming this, said the government was the first sub-national government in the country and Africa to produce its urban policy.
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The project is expected to be managed by reputable private investors and firms in what is being described as the biggest real estate joint venture in the region.
Each of the districts land use area consists of residential, education, commercial, industrial, public/community facility, parks/recreation and public utilities as well as public parking space, multi-level car park, motor park/terminal and urban forest.
“This has paved way for the state government to mobilise grants and technical assistance from the international community to implement projects in the priority areas of the policy; and to attract investors to participate in the development and management of the projects in the nine Districts of Baro Smart Port city, Zubairu said.
He explained that the master plan of the Baro Port city was prepared to harness the unique physical and topographic characteristics of the site; incorporating Internet of Things (IoTs), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics in the planning, development and management of the city to make it smart, efficient and cost-effective.
According to him, the city will also ensure progressive decarbonisation of the buildings, facilities and services leading to a carbon-neutral city; adopting green master planning system to reduce the use of cars; promote social and economic harmony; and to develop livable, walkable, compact and efficient city.
Zubairu stated the city would be adopting renewable energy systems and components (solar panels, wind turbines, Biogas plants etc.) as primary sources of electricity as well as changing the mode of transportation to electric and public mass transportation system.
He said: “Introducing “Smart Grid” electric system for supplying power to the city using computer technology to centralise and redistribute power efficiently; regulate energy exchange between residential buildings through peer-to-peer trading and making the buildings, facilities and services climate-resilient.”
Zubairu said the state government would appoint a private transaction adviser, with requisite expertise and international experience to market the projects in the nine districts of the city; and to attract investment (concessional funding, foreign direct investment, venture capital) to develop and manage projects contained in the master plan; and appoint nine project managers to manage the development of each of the districts.