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‘How lack of planning disrupts economy’



Forum to address urban population, socio-economic challenges

With projections showing that more than 65 per cent of Nigerian population will live in urban settlements by 2020 at time housing infrastructure is in deficit of about 10 million, experts have expressed worry on how lack of planning may disrupt the economy if not addressed.

Already, the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), a non-governmental organisation has concluded plans to host its 14th yearly forum as part of efforts to tackle urban population associated with socio economic challenges bedeviling the country .

According to the organisation, there are challenges with the nation’s response to the global concern of population explosion with the introduction of smart cities.

Themed ‘Living well together, tomorrow: The challenge of Africa’s future cities’, slated for Monday, February 6 is expected bring together stakeholders who will proffer leeway the challenges.

Speaking at a courtesy visit to The Guardian headquarters in Lagos on Tuesday, Senior Vice President, CVL, Rasheed Adegbenro, said the forum would involve concerted efforts from collaborating organisations to drive nationwide activities aimed at challenging governments to build habitable rural areas, urban centres, cities, mega cities, regions, smart cities, sustainable and resilient cities.

According to him, the United Nations has projected that the world’s population will grow from 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050 largely in developing countries including regions such Sub Saharan Africa. Nigeria is expected to contribute major share of the Sub Saharan regional population growth.

Adegbenro said developed economies are already responding to the challenges of the population explosion with the introduction of smart cities. “The big question is this: Is the new model of smart cities, the solution to the challenge of efficient housing for all? Why are inhabitants of cities with the best planning and infrastructure not living well, together”, he queried.

He said the world is faced with the promise and challenge of living well, together, in the face of globalization, migration, global warming, naturalization and urbanization. Many cities are growing on a daily basis; some have grown beyond the master plan of these cities, thanks to the rural-urban migration, to the extent that their populations now exceed the infrastructural provisions, housing, transportation, security of these cities.

“Today many countries and cities find it difficult to accommodate people from other civilisations in view of challenges that new population growth has thrown up”, he said.

The lecture will attract Chief Executive Officer of Smart City, Dubai, Jabber Bin Hafez, Governors of Lagos, Enugu and Edo States, Akinwunmi Ambode Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Godwin Obaseki, respectively, as well as former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke.

Others that will participate are founder/CEO, CVL, Pat Utomi,; president, Global Economic Institute for Africa in Canada, Fred Olayele, , and associate professor at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, Taibat Lawanson, among others.

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