The Federal Government in partnership with UN-Habitat have re-affirmed commitment to promote transformative change in urban settlements through knowledge, policies and technical assistance.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola gave this assurance in Abuja, the nation’s capital in commemoration to mark the 2022 World Habitat Day with the theme, “Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind”.
In order to bridge the poverty and inequality gaps through the Implementation of Ministerial Mandates, Fashola disclosed that Urban Renewal and Slum upgrading programme have been introduced by the Ministry of Works and Housing to actively collaborate with Private Sector to create over 4,435 direct jobs for Nigerian Youths 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 potable water through local borehole supply systems as well as 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 like Nasarawa, Lagos and Anambra states have been profiled.
“Also, other States like Katsina, Yobe, Rivers, Osun, Ondo and Kogi have adopted the PSUP programme and successfully profiled some of their cities.
The Minister further disclosed that Nigeria is at phase two of the programme “which involves implementation of prioritized projects to alleviate slum and housing conditions in the profiled settlements”, he said.
Fashola emphasised on the need for housing provision stressing that it is a collaborative effort by all levels of government and the private sector.
UN, representative, Mr Akun Ola, reading out the UN Secretary General’s goodwill message for World Habitat Day, calls for a collaborative effort to make the issues of urban poverty and inequality a realization.
House of representative Committee on Housing and Urban Development in Nigeria, Mr. Bala Yusuf reaffirmed government’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals SDGs adding that Nigeria is determined in the transformation agenda.