FG launches N2.4b Ibadan regeneration project
Fresh building blocks were again laid in Ibadan, unto Nigeria’s urban development framework, when the Federal Government unfolded plans to reverse several decades of progressive decay in the ancient city.
The project, which comes as a technical assistance programme to states, is meant to assist Oyo State Government in its physical planning and urban development efforts, directed at ensuring improved living condition as well as overall quality of life for inhabitants of Ibadan in general and the inner city areas in particular.
Christened, ‘the Inner City Regeneration Plan for Ibadan’, the 20-year scheme will facilitate the rejuvenation and regeneration of the project communities, comprising Gege, Foko and Popo, as well as the transformation of adjoining communities /districts in Ibadan South West Local Government.
The programme, essentially, will further drive efforts at the preparation and implementation of the National Physical Development Plan (NPDP), through lower level development plans; facilitate the regeneration of inner parts of Ibadan through a well thought –out development plan; attract investments to the core areas of the city; create opportunities for the private sector to be the driver of reform and socio-economic development of the inner core areas.
Similarly, it will determine the quantity and quality of infrastructure that will stimulate and sustain the regeneration of the core areas; and provide technical assistance to Ibadan South West Local Government and Oyo State on physical planning and development matters.
The Guardian learnt that for the purpose of operationalizing the regeneration plan, a land use plan was evolved for the redevelopment. The plan, as expected is to provide direction for the entire process in the execution of the project.
The land use type that evolved from the plan are residential, commercial, circulation, mixed use and water body/greens. About 42 per cent of landuse in the new plan will be for residential development, while 13.97 per cent is for commercial.
Besides, Gege Road is to be dualized, new solid waste management and sanitation strategies are to be evolved, while 3.89 hectares of land is devoted to hospitality and entertainment. Again, 18 sites have been designated as neighbourhood squares, purposely for recreational uses in the regeneration area.
Specifically, the goal of the scheme is to regenerate the affected area to the extent that the private sector will commit its resources, while the implementation strategies evolved for the plan recognise the need for parties other than governments – Federal, Oyo State and the Ibadan South West Local Government, to play very active roles.
The regeneration plan being handled by MOA Planners Limited would be executed in three phases. The total cost of providing critical infrastructure and implementing other components of the plan is N2,406,500,000.
Recently, the Federal Ministry of Work, Housing and Urban Development assembled stakeholders to build consensus on the priority issues. The ministry said, the stakeholders consultative forum provided a platform for information sharing on the preparation and implementation of inner-city regeneration plans in Nigeria, with Ibadan as a case study”.
Works, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Babatunde Fashola, represented by the Director of Urban and Regional Development, Olasunkanmi Dunmoye, said that the inner city areas of most Nigerian cities needed so much attention, since they are very degrading. According to him, with their huge population and potentials, any attention given to the slums would stimulate improve quality of life for many people.
The Oyo State Zonal Town Planning Officer, for the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Adebola Adesanya said, the project has further brought Ibadan, particularly, its inner-city areas into focus.
He observed that the plan if well implemented, will stimulate investments in the affected core areas of Ibadan vis – Gege, Foko and Popo, all in Ibadan South West Local Government Area.
The Managing Director, MOA Planners Limited, a firm of urban and regional planning consultants, Mr. Moses Ogunleye said, the project provided opportunity to further understand the peculiarities of the core areas of a foremost African traditional city like Ibadan.
“The city core areas have their uniqueness, blended in the Yoruba history, tradition and culture. If the context and content of the three ements of the city for which a regeneration plan is being made is not understood, the outcome will be faulty,” he said.
While seeking support from the communities for the regeneration project, Ogunleye noted that the people need to support the project to have improve quality of life and attract investments to the area.
“We have made realistic designs that meet the scope of work as specified by the ministry. We still need the stakeholders to express their views on the various plans – broad land use, detailed land use, infrastructure, landscape, environmental protection and implementation strategies,” he added.
Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers ((NSE), Ibadan Branch, Dr. Wasiu Ajagbe told The Guardian that the project is a welcome development. However, he urged the promoters of the scheme to integrate it with the new Ibadan master plan.
Ajagbe also called for the invitation of the appropriate professionals to undertake designs for the roads and other infrastructure. Key participants at the forum include, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, represented by his Special Assistant Mr. Adeola Oloko; Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) Mr. Kamoru Adeyemi; Chairman Ibadan Southwest Local Government, Mr. Kehinde Akande; Chairman Community Development Associations, Ibadan South West Local Government, Imam Opeloyeru and Dr. Saheed Ojolowo, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Ibadan.