The Head of Department of Urban and Regional Development, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Olasunkanmi Dunmoye, has said uncontrolled and unplanned growths are among the factors responsible for the proliferation of slums in Nigeria.
Dumoye, who spoke in Abuja during the launching of the first annual policy dialogue series on sustainable human settlements in Nigeria during the week, said most Nigerian cities are battling with the uncontrolled and unplanned growths.
He, however, said if urbanization is well managed, it would create opportunities for a better life, and a pathway for a sustainable environment.
“Permit me to reiterate that urbanization if well managed has the potential of creating opportunities for a better life, and it will provide a pathway for a sustainable environment and act as an engine of economic growth and sustainable human settlements development.
“Let us remind ourselves that cities in Nigeria have been battling with uncontrolled and unplanned growths as well as inadequate provision of basic services such as water and sanitation, solid waste management, transportation, health and education, which has led to increases in the proliferation of slums settlements nationwide’’, he said.
Also speaking, the lead speaker, Professor Johnson Falade, who joined the meeting through virtual, said there was the need for proper research and data gathering to enable the stakeholders understand the current housing situation in the country.
Falade, who is formerly with UN Habibat, advocated proper planning of the Nigerian cities in order to avoid population explosion, and called on the ministry of works and housing to constitute a monitoring team to carry out the task.
In his keynote address, the special guest of honour, who is also the National President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, (NITP), Mr Olutoyin Ayinde, charged the ministry of works and housing and relevant stakeholders to fashion out policies that will promote resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements in the country.