The Niger State Government of Nigeria says it has received $75,000 from the Republic of Korea and technical assistance from the UN-Habitat to accelerate its urban development programmes.
Alhaji Ahmed Matane, the Secretary to the State Government, said this in Minna, the state capital, while inaugurating the state urban policy through innovative demonstration projects.
“To accelerate the delivery of positive outcomes of urbanisation in the state, UN-Habitat and the Republic of Korea are assisting the state government to kick-start the implementation of the state urban policy through innovative demonstration projects.
“Presently the state government received a sum of $75,000 to implement three demonstration projects in different part of the state,” he said.
Matane said that, among the projects, the state Ministry for Environment and Forestry would benefit from urban reforestation for climate change.
He said that the state Ministry of Water Resources and Dams Development/Niger State Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Agency would benefit from rehabilitation of three bi-water schemes.
He also said that the Ministry of Lands and Housing would benefit from the provision of water sanitation and hygiene facility.
According to him, the urban reforestation project would cover 50 hectares of land deforested across the state by planting mangrove trees to tackle desertification and improve resilience to economic and natural shocks in the state.
He said that 6,000 economic trees would be planted on more than 45 hectares of land at Bosso dam and 2,000 fruit trees planted on five hectares of land in 10 schools across the state.
Matane said that the afforestation project would contribute to the ongoing international efforts on climate action and protection of forest resources.
He said that the second project would improve water supply and encourage hygiene practices in small and intermediate towns.
He also said that the third project would address the challenges of urban basic services at Kpakungu, Minna through development of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Facility.
He said that the government had on June 23, 2021 approved the state urban policy as a frame-work to guiding urban and territorial development in the state.
Matane said that the measure was part of government efforts to reverse the debilitating outcomes of unplanned urbanisation and also maximise transformative potential of urbanisation for sustainable urban and territorial development in the state.
Similarly, Dr Remy Siefchping, Chief Policy Legislation and Governance Section, UN-Habitat, said that the state urban development policy had been prepared through the technical assistance of UN-Habitat and financial support from the republic of Korea.
Siefchping, who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Adeleke, Urban Development Expert, UN-Habitat, said that there were 12 proposals received from the state government through call of interest for the implementation of the demonstration projects.
He said that, with the operational support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country office in Abuja, UN-Habitat would complete the projects in two months.
Dr Lucky Barau, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry for Environment and Forestry, said that the projects would benefit the state socio-economically.
Earlier, Mrs Helen Umaru, Acting General Manager, Niger State Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation, enjoined the people of the state to take ownership of the project in order to ensure sustainability.
Also, Mr Mu’azu Isah, Gwada Youth Forum in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state, lauded the programme and assured the public that they would support government to ensure its success and sustainability.
By Obinna Unaeze