FG restates commitment to upgrade urban slums nationwide

Federal Government has said it is committed to the upgrading of urban slums across the country through the Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Programme of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN, said this on Monday at the commemoration of 2021 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day held in Abuja.

Fashola, who was represented by the Director of planning, research and statistics, Jide Martins said, “Considerable strides have been made in the execution of the Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Programme to the tune of about one point five billion naira (N1.5bn) between 2019 and 2020.

“The recent efforts made under the Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Programme has resulted in different direct and indirect benefits as well as advanced current level of progress towards reversal of the expansion of slums across Nigeria and it’s impact on climate change.

“We have committed to active implementation of National Housing Programme as a strategy in the current efforts to achieve green affordable housing that inappropriate sustainable features.

“Potential benefits of green affordable housing include lower energy cost burden and improved health of the citizens. In view of this, the ministry is currently at the completion stages of the first phase of the National Housing Programme in 34 states of the federation, which provided land for them.”

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Babangida Hussaini said, cities have to plan for stocks and stresses that affect life, property and socio economic status of their inhabitants.

Hussaini added that the reflection on this theme is to make out cities safer, smarter and pleasant for habitation regardless of the vagaries if the climate change.

He said, “It is pertinent to state that well governed cities greatly reduce climate related risks for their populations.

“Therefore, creating more sustainable climate resilient communities involve addressing a range of issues including poverty reduction, ensuring basic services, providing adequate, affordable and accessable housing, investing in infrastructure, upgrading informal settlements and managing ecosystems.

“Consequently, this global commemoration is inherited to promote cooperation and among countries to enable them seize the opportunities and face the challenges of urbanisation,” he added.

Also speaking, the country coordinator for UN Habitat, Mr Paul Okunola said city leadership is using green materials and constructing energy-efficient, resilient buildings powered by renewable energy is essential to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Okunola stated that the benefits are enormous; less pollution and climate risk, more jobs, and better health and wellbeing.