Niger state government has presented draft copy of the formulation of the state urban policy process to policy makers from the state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports on Tuesday that Niger state is getting a 900,000 dollar grant from South Korea to formulate the urban policy.
The policy seeks to regenerate informal settlements of inner city neighbourhoods in urban centres to prevent the growth of slums, improved access to safe, decent and affordable housing.
It will also improve on public transport systems, improved water and sanitation, effective land management, inclusive economic growth and job creation.
Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Chairman, Technical Support Team for the Formulation of the Niger State Urban Policy, said the meeting was for policy actors in MDAs to have an understanding of the ongoing formulation of the policy.
Matane, represented by Alhaji Baba Wachiko, Permanent Secretary, Economic Affairs, added that the meeting was for participants to review the draft policy, identify gaps and make inputs.
“This is to ensure relevant policy actors and stakeholders are involved in the formulation process to have an implementable urban development policy,” he said.
Also, Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme (NSUSP), said that the urban policy would bring about sustainable use of land and natural resources to bring poverty to the barest minimum.
He added that the urban policy would strengthen governance systems and improve synergy between government institutions and MDAs at all levels of government.
“As key actors of MDA’s, you are to review the draft policy, make comments which should reflect what you think is missing and what you think should be adequately captured that are not adequately captured,” he said.
Presenting the draft urban policy, Mr Emmanuel Adeleke, UN-Habitat Consultant, NSUSP, said that the feasibility and diagnostic phase of the policy process had been completed.
He added that the outcome of these phases revealed uncoordinated urban development, infrastructure and service deficit, insecurity and poor urban and rural linkages among others.
One of the participant, Malam Nagidi Bala, from the state Urban Development Board, said there was need to act fast as everything was gradually becoming digitalised.
Another participant, John Dawaba, from the Niger state Geographic Information System (NGIS), promised to review the policy alongside other staff and make contributions where necessary.
NAN reports that some of the objectives of the policy include:
1. Equitable access to affordable land, security of tenure, safety, security, improved livability in towns and cities and conducive urban environment capable of transforming the economy is achieved in Niger State;
2. Transparent, accountable and efficient land administration and governance processes and institutions are functioning in the state;
3. Housing delivery processes and institutions are empowered to facilitate the acquisition of land for housing and other development projects; and,
4. Cities, towns and neighbourhoods are mapped, adequately planned and supporting Government and residents to achieve their residential and economic aspirations.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz