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Minister expresses concern over rapid of urbanisation

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Past President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Chief Andrew Maduka (left); Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT),<br />Dr. Ramatu Aliyu; and past president of the institute, Steve Oni, at the 50th National Conference of the institute in Ibadan Oyo State…yesterday.

Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, has expressed concern over the alarming rate of urbanisation in Africa and Asia.

Speaking yesterday at the 50th National Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan (UI), Mrs. Aliyu lamented that a very large proportion of the urban population lived in slums and squatter settlements without basic necessities of life.

The minister, who said the theme of the conference ‘Regenerating Nigerian Cities for Sustainable Development’ was apt, regretted that many urban towns in Nigeria needed regeneration.

The town planner said: “The rapid urbanisation in many developed countries over the past half century seems to have been accompanied by excessively high levels of concentration of urban population in very large cities.

“Urbanisation is taking place at different speeds in different continents globally. In Africa and Asia, the proportion of city dwellers is rising at an alarming rate and it is predicted that the proportion will likely reach 50 per cent by 2025. Developing countries today face greater urbanisation challenges than developed countries”.

National president of NITP, Lekwa Ezutah, called for improved legislation on physical planning and urban development.

Ezutah also called on the government to embark on regeneration of Nigerian towns and cities.

“Many Nigerian cities are sick, structurally weak, economically unviable and in a state of environmental emergency. The theme of the conference calls for urban renewal for our cities. Let us use this opportunity to call on government to embark on programmes to regenerate our towns and cities, so we can hand over to succeeding generations sustainable human settlements in line with the urban agenda.

“There is need to improve on legislations on physical planning and urban development. Adequate financial appropriations need to be made to urban planning matters to cater for all issues in urban planning,” he said.


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