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New strategies for urban-rural linkages in Niger State underway

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
07 February 2022   |   2:43 am
Experts, policymakers, and administrators from four councils as well as Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Niger State have evolved new strategies to strengthen rural-urban linkages.

Experts, policymakers, and administrators from four councils as well as Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Niger State have evolved new strategies to strengthen rural-urban linkages.

The stakeholders met as part of implementing the UN Development Account (UNDA) funded project “Leaving No Place Behind – Strengthening Urban-Rural Linkages in selected countries in Africa.”

The forum is an engagement of stakeholders on the formulation of evidence-based policy strategies for attaining sustainable towns and cities.

UN-Habitat and its implementing partner Niger State government organised the one-day technical workshop with stakeholders and officials of the Niger State Government to validate the project’s outcome on challenges, opportunities, as well as proffer recommendations for strengthening urban-rural linkages in the state.

In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Niger State Ministry of Land and Housing, Abdul Husaini, said the Niger State government has been receiving technical assistance from UN-Habitat on the different developmental scope.

“This workshop is a platform to understand the significance of inter-ministerial and multilevel collaboration for territorial planning and improved service delivery across the urban-rural continuum in the state thus leaving no place behind,” he said.

The Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme, Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, said urban-rural linkage is a critical component for territorial development and improved rural economy.

“The present poor linkage across urban-rural continuum has not only put pressure on food security but also led to low returns on agriculture for rural farmers, growing inequalities and spatial disparities, hence there is need to strengthen the connection between rural areas and large urban centres with a coherent policy tool, developmental programmes and projects,” he said.

UN-Habitat’s Chief of Policy, Legislation and Governance Section, Remy Sietchiping, who participated virtually, commended Niger State Government for steering discussion on strengthening urban-rural linkages in the extant policy instruments, particularly the Niger State Urban Policy.

He added that as the participants evolved strategies, initiates developmental programmes and projects, they should also consider rural dwellers or communities that could be disenfranchised so that no place would be left behind.

Some of the policy recommendations put forward for strengthening urban-rural linkages in Niger State include: providing resilient infrastructure such as rural feeder roads, river cross/ bridges to ensure an urban-rural continuum.

Others are enhancing rural productivity and food security through improved seedlings, farm storage and procession facilities; providing fertilisers and extending services to rural farmers; strengthening the situation architecture in Niger State; establishing a coherent framework of action for preparation and implementation of programmes/projects across the urban-rural continuum in the state.