The Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has expressed commitment to deepening partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) towards mobilizing multi-lateral funding and technical support for planned Nationwide Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Program under the Renewed Hope Agenda of the government. The program aims to improve living conditions in Nigeria’s urban areas and transform informal settlements into vibrant, integrated neighborhoods with access to essential services, while preventing the proliferation of slums.
Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa stated this during a meeting with a delegation of UN-Habitat, led by the Director, Regional Office for Africa, Oumar Sylla, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja. The Minister observed that UN-Habitat’s new vision of “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” aligns fully with the Renewed Hope Agenda of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, and called on the body to support the bold plans of the ministry to increase access to decent, quality, and affordable housing for all Nigerians, including those that fall within the low and medium-income segments of the country.
“We are counting on UN-Habitat to continue to render its technical support to the ministry as the focal point for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 11, which aims to make our towns and cities safe, resilient, and sustainable.“ Additionally, we would like to seek UN-Habitat’s collaboration in advancing the SDGs. Specific areas include helping us to mobilise multilateral funding for our Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Programme and the New City Development Project”, he said.
Speaking further, Dangiwa appreciated UN-Habitat for assisting with the review of the National Urban Development Policy (NUDP) and assured of the ministry’s commitment to complete and adopt the document with the technical support of the organization. He further called for deepened collaboration between the ministry and UN-Habitat, noting that the meeting should mark a new, bolder, innovative, and more impactful partnership between the two parties; one that will see the ministry explore all the potentials and capacities of UN-Habitat to help achieve the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“I am impressed with your strategic plan for the period 2020-2023. In it, I see several points of intersection with the Renewed Hope Agenda of our government. This includes reduced spatial inequality and poverty in communities across the urban-rural continuum; enhanced shared prosperity of cities and regions; strengthened climate action and improved urban environment; as well as effective urban crisis prevention and response”, Dangiwa added.
On Nigeria’s $250,000 annual funding support to the UN-Habitat Support Office (UN-HAPSO) in Nigeria, the Minister assured the delegation of Nigeria’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations and has already set in motion the process to pay its statutory contribution to UN-Habitat, which was delayed due to the transition to a new administration in the country.
He further stated that continued funding support to UN-Habitat’s office in Nigeria will reposition the office to adequately play its role in providing technical support services to housing and urban development stakeholders in the country. The visit of UN-Habitat’s delegation comes as the ministry continues to unveil plans to make affordable homeownership accessible to more Nigerians, while also building sustainable cities and upgrading slums in the country.
The intention of the ministry is to leverage the partnership with UN-Habitat to foster speedy and sustainable implementation of its plans for housing and urban development. Arc. Dangiwa, therefore, called for series of future engagements so that the activities and programmes mapped out in any future work plan will align with the priorities of the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, as mandated to the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
Responding, Director, Africa Region of the UN Habitat, Oumar Sylla, the leader of the delegation, assured the Honourable Minister that the 2023-2027 work plan of the UN-Habitat for the country will definitely be aligned with the priorities of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration.
About UN Habitats:The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. UN-Habitat is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system.UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities. UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination, and poverty.
Badamasi Salisu Haiba
Deputy Director Information