The Nigerian government has reiterated it’s commitment to partner with the United Nations, UN-Habitat in promoting transformative change in upgrading urban settlements, to assist the poor, through knowledge, policies and technical assistance.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola gave this assurance at an event in Abuja, the nation’s capital in commemoration of the 2022 World Habitat Day with the theme: “Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind.”

To bridge the poverty and inequality gaps through the implementation of ministerial mandates, Fashola said that Urban Renewal and Slum upgrading programme have been introduced by the Ministry of Works and Housing to collaborate with Private Sectors to create over 4,435 direct jobs for Nigerian Youths through.

33 Projects in several Nigerian cities
He said that would be done through the implementation of 33 Projects in several Nigerian cities, which started from January, 2021 to June, 2022.

According to the him, these capital projects includes Construction and rehabilitation of roads, culverts and drains, also provision of portable water through local borehole supply systems and provision of solar powered street-lights and provision of storm-water drainage channels.

“Our goal is to create smart and sustainable cities. This initiative has been adopted by the UN Agency as a sustainable way of addressing the salient issues and challenges of homelessness, housing crises and slum situations in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific countries”

“At the instance of the International Agency, three cities likes Nasarawa, Lagos and Anambra States have been profiled,” he said.

States like Katsina, Yobe, Rivers, Osun, Ondo, Kogi States have adopted the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme, PSUP programme and successfully profiled some of their cities.

The Minister further stated that Nigeria was at phase two of the programme which involved implementation of prioritised projects to alleviate slum and housing conditions in the profiled settlements.

Fashola emphasised the need for provision of houses, stressing that it requires collaborative effort by all levels of government and the private sector.

Urban poverty and inequality
UN, representative, Mr Akun Ola, reading out the UN Secretary Genera’s goodwill message for World Habitat Day, calls for a collaborative effort to make the issues of urban poverty and inequality a realisation.

House of representative Committee on Housing and Urban Development in Nigeria, Mr. Bala Yusuf reaffirmed government’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs adding that Nigeria is determined to transform agenda.

Lateefah Ibrahim