Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has commended the United Nations Human Settlements Programmes (UN-Habitat) for its commitment towards addressing the global challenges of urbanization.
Fashola spoke today in his office while receiving a delegation of the UN-Habitat Mission who paid him a courtesy visit to brief him on the outcomes of the validation workshop on the evaluation of the memorandum of understanding between the Federal Government of Nigeria and UN-Habitat which was held in Abuja.
The Minister who requested the UN body to supply more information on the areas of intended collaboration, also told the delegation that, as a conscious national strategy, Nigeria would look out for how investment would grow our economy and develop our people
Fashola noted that the challenges of housing needs were more pronounced in urban cities than in rural communities, adding that there was the need to get data on where people want houses, the type of houses and affordability.
He added that there was the need to work out a strategy on housing to meet the interest of all stakeholders.
The Minister assured the delegation that the Federal Government of Nigeria would continue to collaborate and work with the UN body to achieve the clear mandate of the UN- Habit Programme
The head of the UN-Habitat delegation Dr. Naison Mutizwa- Mangiza, earlier told the Minister about some key outcomes of the validation workshop which include among others; review of the MOU between UN-Habitat and Nigeria, setting up technical committee to review the MOU, data collection on housing infrastructure, project conceptualization and management and knowledge and technology transfer.
He also told the Minister about the forthcoming Conference of Ministers’ of Housing scheduled for Abu Dhabi next year 2020 and extend invitation to Nigeria to attend
Earlier at the opening of the Workshop, the Minister of State Works and Housing, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu, expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation and harmonious working relationship between the Federal Government and the UN-Habitat in the implementation of the various sustainable human settlements programmes in Nigeria.
He recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Human settlement Programme Support (UN-Habitat) in 2001 to establish a UN-Habitat Programme Support Office (HAPSO) in Abuja, Nigeria, explaining that the mandate of HAPSO was derived from the UN-Habitat’s United Nations General Assembly global mandate to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
Engineer Aliyu further explained that, the 2014-2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) specifically mandates HAPSO to “assist interested Governments at Federal, State and Local levels in Nigeria through, Technical Cooperation, field projects, provision and exchange of expertise, networking, public information, capacity building and consulting services” under the guidance of UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Africa.
The Validation Workshop was organised by the UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, to give opportunity to stakeholders to review the operations of UN-Habitat Programme Support office (HAPSO) in Nigeria. The HAPSO office became operational in October 2003 in Abuja, Nigeria.
“We believe the urbanization challenges in Africa require African solutions. For this reason, Nigeria has been at the fore front of championing the African Urban Agenda which is aimed at mobilizing nations to unite in its quest for ‘home made’ solutions to her urbanization challenges and to contribute in unison to the global urbanization debate” Aliyu said