Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mr Umar El-Yakub has charged urban development stakeholders to develop inclusive and sustainable policy document to spur urban settlement development in Nigeria.
El-Yakub made the call while delivering his opening address at the National Validation Workshop on Draft of the Revised 2012 National Urban Development Policy (NUDP) on Wedesday in Abuja.
He said from his assessment and updates the 2012 policy did not deliver adequately on its goals and objectives, adding that the reason for the unfortunate result of the past had been carefully identified and addressed in the fresh attempt.
El-Yakub who was represented by Mr Chike Anikamadu said that he was optimistic that the country was on the path to transforming human settlements into potential driver of overall national development.
“As I mentioned earlier, the central interest of Federal Ministry Of Works and Housing is to use this workshop to perfect all necessary stakeholders engagements and obtain final feedback from all interest groups in this sub sector.
“I am convinced that you will bring your various technical expertise and experience to bear in this all important validation effort.
“At the end of the workshop we hope that you shall present us with a policy document that would spur urban and settlement development that is inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable in Nigeria,” he said.
In his goodwill message the National president of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr Nathaniel Atebije, said that it was common knowledge that urban areas are the engines of growth and development of nations.
“They play enormous roles in the social and economic development of nations, hence if their patterns, components and contents are not carefully conceived, professionally organised through designs.
“And articulated with legal, administrative and technical structures to guide and control developments, the chaos and confusion that would ensue would rub off on all aspects of the settlement fabric,” the minister said.
He noted that the national urban policy provides the platform for reasserting urban space and territoriality. It is vital providing the needed direction and course of action to support urban development.
“With the policy, avenue is provided to manage pressures in the urban space such as slum prevention and regulation, access to land, basic services to infrastructure, urban legislation.
“Delegation of authority to sub-national and local governments, financial flows, urban planning regulations, urban mobility and urban energy requirements as well as job creation,” El-Yakub said.
Earlier, the Chairperson of the UN-Habitat, Mr Akin Oyateru, while presenting the UN-Habitat statement said that UN-Habitat was ready to engage and support Nigeria in her journey for better urban future for all Nigerians.
Oyateru who was represented by Dr Remy Sietchiping said that the revised policy was meant to be innovative, forward looking , and building of inspiring global practices.
He explained that the importance of the revised policy was that it sought to assist State Governments develop and implement transformative and locally grounded policies relevant to their situations.
“The test of any policy is its implementation, monitoring and evaluation mechanism.The areas of support would include technical assistance, advisory services, capacity building.
“2022-2027 UN-Habitat’s programme for Nigeria aims to achieve three things: urban policy coherence between urban and rural areas, and better spatial planning,” Oyateru said.
The National president of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr Nathaniel Atebije said that the National Urban policy provides the platform for reasserting urban space and territoriality.
He said that it was vital in providing the needed direction and course of action to support urban development.
He said the direction and pattern of growth and development of urban centres in Nigeria had become a matter of serious concern because of lack of planning and impunity.
“It is common knowledge that urban areas are the engines of growth and development of nations.
“I would still recommend that this policy be appropriately titled to be known and called “Nigeria Urban Planning and Development Policy” to minimize the rush to development.
“This is the only way our urban areas would be on a straight course to sustainable development,” Atebije said.(NAN)