UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, has commended the growing collaboration between states in Nigeria and UN-HABITAT.
She spoke while holding bilateral meetings with the governors of two states in the country, Anambra and Nassarawa States, on the sidelines of the Second African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD II) in Abuja, the Federal capital.
During the talks, Letters of Cooperation were signed by Mrs. Tibaijuka on behalf of UN-HABITAT, and the Governor, Mr. Aliyu Akwe Doma on behalf of the government of Nassarawa State. The agreement is for the preparation of Structure Plans for four settlements in the state. The state government will be contributing USD 581,000 towards implementation of the scheme.
The scheme will involve the preparation of Structure Plans for cities through the use of Rapid Urban Sector Profile for Sustainability (RUSPS) surveys. It will be executed over the next one year
RUSPS adopts a participatory approach for rapidly assessing human settlement conditions in a city through studies to determine its precise developmental needs and priorities.
Coming after the adoption of similar schemes in Anambra and Yobe states, the adoption by Nassarawa State brings to 10 the number of Nigerian cities now listed under the scheme.
In addition to Lafia, the Nassarawa state capital, other settlements pencilled down to participate in the Nassarawa scheme are Keffi, Doma and the Karu urban area. Under earlier programmes, three towns in Anambra State - Awka, the state capital, Onitsha and Nnewi - as well as three others in Yobe - Damaturu, the state capital, Potiskum and Gashua - had come on board the nation-wide scheme.
Governor Doma noted that the state was compelled to seek assistance from UN HABITAT in order to cope with the large influx of migrants displaced by urban redevelopment schemes being implemented in the neighbouring Federal capital, Abuja.
Mrs. Tibaijuka offered UN-HABITAT’s assistance to the state in the implementation of projects emerging from the surveys. She reiterated UN-HABITAT’s expertise in the field of urban planning. “Twenty years ago, UN Habitat assisted in conducting studies towards the planning of the city of Abuja,” she said.
Meanwhile, the governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, solicited UN-HABITAT in sourcing funding for projects to be executed under the State’s RUSPS scheme. The UN-HABITAT country office in Nigeria has just concluded the survey on participating towns in the state. The report is currently being studied by the state government.