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Experts lament non-implementation of Lagos city’s resilience strategy

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The failure to implement wholly the Lagos city resilience strategy unfolded early this year by the Lagos authorities has left many stakeholders bewildered.
 
Launched in collaboration with Africa Global Resilient Cities Network, the strategy contains three pillars, 10 goals and 31 initiatives, which provide a framework for improving the capacity of the city to respond to present and future shocks and stresses. It aligns with the Lagos State Development Plan.
   
Lagos being one of the hundred resilient cities across the globe contends with disease outbreaks, coastal erosion and flooding, forced evictions, economic downturn, building collapse, high unemployment and underemployment, traffic congestion, inadequate transportation system, formal-informal economic contestation, erratic power supply, civil unrest, unrest, urban fires and inadequate health system.

But stakeholders said the resilience office; going by the strategy should lead the COVID-19 pandemic response team. According to them, as a product of three years of collaborative efforts and actions, including workshops, research, inclusive engagement and participatory processes with civil society, the strategy should be implemented being the state’s first urban resilience document.
 
A former Lagos State chapter, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Moses Ogunleye, said implementation of the Lagos Resilience Strategy in various levels of government has remained an issue in many instance.
 
According to him, in most cases, a policy, law or strategy becomes obsolete, just before government realise that it need to implement it, as other events or circumstances make sure policy, law or strategy unrealistic or irrelevant.
 
Ogunleye stressed the need for immediate commencement in implementation of strategy, saying doing that would have put the state at a safer edge, facilitate the preservation of its resources, and promote its health status. “ Its role in this regards should be tied to the resilience strategy”, he added.

Also, the Vice Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and Project Director, Artic Infrastructure, Lookman Oshodi stressed the need for government to accelerate the implementation of the resilience strategy in Lagos.
 
According to him, in a very long time in the history of the city, this is the first time that the city is facing tremendous shock that affects social, economic and environmental well being of the residents.
 
Oshodi said although, the response of the relevant state institutions to the shock have been commendable, but there is a compelling need to look at the future trajectory of urban infrastructure and services in preparing the city for any disaster in the future.

 
“That is where Lagos Resilience Strategy becomes crucial. The strategy is ahead on the quantity and quality of healthcare, housing, security, energy, transportation, waste management, water and sanitation needs for the city.

“The scope of service, institutional framework and participatory models for all the stakeholders in the city are the additional strength for the city.
 
“Hence, the urgent need to start the implementation. Importantly, the strategy will be helpful in guiding relevant state and private actors as the city is gradually re-opening its social and economic system.

“Now that the management of the COVID-19 crisis is approaching community and home care, the inputs from the Lagos State Resilience Office will be critical. The Office, through its resilience strategy has articulated community engagement approaches in care management for disaster. The expertise of the office in reviewing disaster and urban risk management in other cities will be helpful to the city at this time of managing COVID-19 crisis in the city of Lagos “, he added.

The Chief Resilience Officer, Gbolahan Oki, had during the launch noted that the innovative strategies would ensure that the state survives economically. He also called for the support of Lagosians in ensuring that the set goals are implemented.


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