UN-HABITAT conducted an urban management course for Nigerian ministers, municipal officials and other experts last week to help 12 specially selected cities improve their urban governance as part of a programme finance by the Urban Development Bank of Nigeria. The idea is to conduct rapid surveys in each city aimed at helping them identify problem areas and then finding the best solutions.
Trainers were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, Urban Development Bank of Nigeria, Anambra State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, representatives of Local Governments in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi, Yobe State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning and 10 national consultants in the fields of urban planning and local economic development, gender and governance and urban infrastructure.
The training, involving UN-HABITAT’s Rapid Urban Sector Profiling for Sustainability (RUSPS), started with a welcome by Professor Johnson Falade. He drew attention to the several challenges of urbanization facing Nigerian cities.
Barrister Peter Afuba, Hon. Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning in Anambra State, hoped the programme would bring a clear direction in the planning and management of Nigerian cities. He saw the preparation of structure plans as a strategic response and tool for addressing problems of poverty, slum proliferations, housing shortages, water and sanitation, solid waste management, erosion, uncontrolled development, congestion and decayed urban centres. He cited the cooperation between Anambra States and UN-HABITAT, saying that other states like Yobe, Nasarawa, Ekiti and Ebonyi States would follow suit.
Chief Chuka Odom, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development, spoke of UN-HABITAT’s complementary role in tackling urbanization problems in Nigeria. Chief Chuka Odom, Minister of State for Environment, Housing and Urban Development, also gave a keynote address.