The number of Nigerians who live in urban areas is expected to grow from the current 50% to 60% by 2030, according to the federal government, highlighting the importance of preparing for this anticipated increase. Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ahmed Dangiwa revealed the plans at an Abuja event commemorating the 2023 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day with the theme “Financing Sustainable Urban Future for All.” He emphasised the importance of the proper collaboration between the private and public sectors to make sure the plans are carried out.
Represented by Abdullahi Gwarzo, the Minister of State in the ministry, Dangiwa outlined that stakeholders ought to collaborate to ensure that the obstacles are mitigated in order to ensure that there is continued availability of funding for affordable housing and urban development in the country. He emphasised that this continues to be a challenge even though the financing is available. The problems and difficulties posed by urbanisation in Nigeria are receiving careful consideration from the nation’s government, which is making great strides to address these issues.
They seek collaborations and partnerships for the housing project.
According to Dangiwa, the ministry’s primary concentration is still focussed on the problem of providing adequate funding for low-cost housing and urban infrastructure, and officials there are actively seeking collaborations and partnerships from various other stakeholders as well as their development partners. The minister stated that urbanisation is a phenomenon that can be utilised to improve economic productivity, equitable development, and environmental sustainability and that it is one of the major transformational forces shaping the globe in the 21st century.
It is projected that the percentage of people living in cities will increase by the year 2030, reaching more than half of the country’s total population. Therefore, it is necessary for them to effectively plan and manage those areas, as well as to construct the necessary resilience and innovations to absorb the expected changes to accommodate the anticipated increase in population in the cities. He said that the government wants cities to have fair economic growth and prosperity, where people can sustainably use the natural environment, and where strong policies that focus on people will diminish poverty and inequality.
Citizens will have access to safe, healthy, and suitable housing.
Also, the primary responsibility of this ministry, and one of the primary focuses of the current administration’s renewed hope agenda, is to ensure that all Nigerians have access to safe, healthy, and suitable housing in rural and urban areas. Therefore, the problems of urban growth and housing are being given the appropriate attention. Thus, he said, they urge the private sector to invest in the sector using the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement already in place within the ministry.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), in his remark, spoke about the need to improve Nigerians’ living conditions, safety, and sustainability in the environment. According to him, diversifying into the construction of houses is one way for Nigeria to recover from the current global economic crisis caused by its reliance on the export of crude oil. The government should make a concerted and deliberate effort to promote urban development by constructing new cities and revitalising older ones.
Collaborating to mobilise finance for sustainable cities is needed.
He added that this would not only provide the people with houses but also with a safer and more comfortable community. He continued by saying that the professional and non-professional job options in the value chain of the housing sector remain the best chance for job creation. Similarly, in his virtual remarks, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, called on governments, international organisations, the private sector, and civil society to collaborate in order to mobilise finance for resilient and sustainable cities.