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Lagos, Niger begin development plans for excised villages, others

By Victor Gbonegun
13 January 2020   |   3:34 am
The Lagos State Government is to prepare a development guide for lands formerly acquired from villages in the state.

The Lagos State Government is to prepare a development guide for lands formerly acquired from villages in the state.

Already, authorities have called for expression of Interest from credible and experienced consultants registered with the Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC) in preparation of the development plans for affected villages.

Sources from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development said the preparation of the guide becomes necessary in view of speedy developments within the excised lands across the state.

The development guide is expected to bring about environmental sustainability by instituting local, neighbourhood and action area plans.

Going by the provisions of the Land Use Act of 1978, lands are held on trust by governors.

But, before the advent of the Act, lands in Nigeria were mostly under the control of communities and traditional families.

The Land Use Act, however, put lands directly under the authority of State Governors, who can release portions of them to landowners with proven records and history of ownership.

Land excision is a recognised mechanism through which portions of lands are released to the original owners after the government’s acquisition in the form of compensation.

This means that the land would no longer be under government acquisition and processing of a Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) is possible.

The initiative is expected to considerably impact the THEMES agenda of the State Government by promoting the liveable city ideals of the government.

The Guardian learned that the government has invited bids in view of its importance.

Essentially, the deliverables for the project include, reconnaissance and preliminary survey; preparation of base map; stakeholders’ meeting; data collection and analysis and existing road upgrading designs, among others.

In a related development, the Niger State Government has commenced the formation of an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for Minna and Suleja cities to make them equitable, socially inclusive, and self-sustaining cities.

The two cities are considered critical, given the rapid growth of the two cities and the need to curb the spread of informal settlements within and around the peri-urban areas of both cities.

The integrated plan will seek to adopt a harmonised approach to urban planning, in which all relevant agencies of government will work in harmony rather than at cross-purposes with each other.

The ‘Smart City’ project will ease the development pressure on the city while exploiting its proximity to Abuja to promote the manufacture of complementary renewable energy systems and components, such as solar water heaters, fans, refrigerators and LED lights in partnership with Korean companies which would be sold within Nigeria and in other African countries.

Regional Metropolitan Officer, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Mr. Michael Kinyanjui, who led a delegation from UN-Habitat to the state for the preparation of the plan said the UN-Habitat was delighted with the commitment of the state government to an IDP for major cities on the human settlement for their sustainability.

He stated that Niger is the first state in Nigeria that has shown a commitment to the implementation of the urban support programme, adding that this shows that the state is ready to work and manage the development process.

He noted that the formulation process of the IDP for Minna and Suleja would involve stakeholders’ participation to come up with their development process.

Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the State Technical Support Team, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, said that the state governor, Abubakar Bello, would ensure the implementation of the programme stressing that IDP would help harmonise and integrate major cities in the state that were expanding on a daily basis towards their development.

He pledged that the government would put in resources and make the environment conducive for the project.

Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme, Prof. Mustapha Zubairu on his part, said the IDP would be stakeholders-driven to guide activities such as physical, social, economic, cultural and environmental issues in each of the cities.

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