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Why Lagos is proposing 30-year urban development policy, by official

By Victor Gbonegun
10 October 2022   |   2:40 am
Towards economic, social and environmental sustainability, Lagos authorities have begun moves to develop a comprehensive Urban Development Policy (LSUDP) to guide development within the state.

[FILES] Governor Sanwo-Olu. Photo/facebook/jidesanwooluofficial

Towards economic, social and environmental sustainability, Lagos authorities have begun moves to develop a comprehensive Urban Development Policy (LSUDP) to guide development within the state.

The proposed 30-year policy is expected to cover 2022 to 2052. The Guardian learnt that the initiative is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), African Urban Agenda and National Urban Development Policy, as well as ensuring resilience in the development of Lagos across all strata by providing a sound legal framework and virile institutions in the physical environment.

Urban transformation in cities requires greater attention to multi-level governance and accountability to urban residents and investment in productive jobs, transport, housing, and other services.

The New Urban Agenda sets a global standard for urban development that integrates all facets of sustainable development to promote equity, welfare and prosperity. The Agenda is of particular significance to Africa, which is the world’s fastest urbanising region while the SDGs 11’s aspiration is to make cities, and human settlements inclusive, safe and sustainable.

Although, there are policies in existence in the built-up sector that cut across land use, the plan would codify all the policies into one document to enhance the socio-economic well-being of the people when it becomes operational.

Speaking to The Guardian on the development, a senior official of the ministry, Mukaila Sanusi, explained that the step is part of efforts to address the dynamic nature of the Lagos urban centres, which is fast growing with ever-increasing population due to the daily influx of people from other states and neighbouring West Africa countries.

According to him, growing economic activities and requirements for infrastructure, housing and transportation gaps, make policy development inevitable. He added that it will improve the tourism sector, and maintain a balance between customs/ traditional sectors and modern sectors in housing, as well as planning.

“There are national and international standards by the UN-Habitat, National Urban Policy and other states’ standard policies. For instance, there are land use policies, and environmental and work policies relevant to urban planning. However, most of these policies cannot address current realities in Lagos, they require a review. Moreover, we need to codify policies, specifically for managing the urban space and have what we can refer to as urban policy that will govern the whole gamut of the urban space, addressing the present and the future.

“The vision of the new policy is to build a sound legal foundation, capable institutions, and financial instruments to design and build sustainable, resilient, participatory, as well as inclusive Lagos,” he said.

Sanusi said the policy, would address all spatial and sectoral issues, including recreation, protection of historical edifices, orderly land uses, climate resilience and mitigation, functional and effective urban agriculture, integrated waste management, low-cost and affordable housing, urban regeneration, security and location of facilities, infrastructure inclusive of designs.

He further said the expectation of government from the initiative includes: sustainable and harmonious development, adequate guide for spatial and sectoral allocation of resources, an adequate guide for land use planning, well-defined inter-agency relationships in relation to urban planning and stakeholders management.

Stakeholders expected to contribute to the policy development are members of the public, professionals in the built sector, local and international Non-Governmental Organisations, the Community Development Association (CDA), the media and others.

Consequently, he disclosed that the government has requested interested stakeholders to submit memorandums towards a robust and representative policy document. He said the memorandum should be addressed and submitted in both soft and hard copies to the ministry.