The Chairman, House Committee on Urban Development and Regional Planning, Awaji Abiante has urged the Federal Government to prioritise the well-being of urban dwellers and other vulnerable persons living in cities across Nigeria.
Abiante made the plea in Abuja on Tuesday, at a meeting with relevant stakeholders on the implementation of integrated and sustainable urban development and physical planning across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking on the nexus between urbanisation and development, Abiante stressed the need to build a national consensus on the implementation of integrated and sustainable Urban development and physical planning across the states as part of the national agenda on urban and regional development.
He said, “The urban poor and other vulnerable groups in our cities require more care and attention, especially in the provision of affordable and adequate housing, as well as other social amenities for improved life quality.
“This requires taking a holistic and futuristic view of planning rather than the otherwise myopic planning for today only. Fortunately, many of these new directions are already part of our national agenda on urban development which we are committed to implementing with all the key stakeholders in the Housing and Urban development sector through the instrumentality of the approved National Housing and Urban Development Policies by the government.”
This is just as he called for proper planning of urban cities to make urban settlements more habitable.
“We need to ensure proper planning and utilization of our territorial spaces before they degenerate into slumps and inhabitable human settlements.
“With the phenomenal rate of urbanization in Nigeria over the past decades, we cannot afford to be complacent anymore about the vast opportunities that our cities provide for accelerated national transformation through the building of integrated and productive communities.
We cannot, however, maximize the opportunities in the sustained transformation of our cities if the fundamentals are not addressed,” he added.
Abiante, however, added that the Federal, State and Local Governments must all come together to realise the goal of urbanization in the country.
“We cannot accomplish the objective of rapidly transforming our cities without the support and active involvement of other tiers of government.
“The salutary efforts of our State Governments in promoting the urban agenda through the development of new towns and implementation of urban renewal and slum upgrading schemes, among others are noteworthy.
“I also commend other stakeholders in the built environment, including development partners, for complementing us in our drive to uplift the status of our cities for sustainable livelihoods.
“The best way to implement and integrate sustainable urban development is for us all to enlist in the growing army of city changers across the world,” he added.
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