The Niger State Government of Nigeria says a $900,000 grant has been approved by the South Korean government for the preparation for an Urban Policy for the state.
Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), disclosed this on Monday, November 11, 2019 in Minna, the state capital, at a press conference to commence the preparation for the Niger State Urban Policy.
He said that Gov. Abubakar Bello attended the second international conference on the National Urban Policy in Paris, France, based on the invitation from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
Matane explained that the governor during the conference solicited the assistance of the UN-Habitat and other partners to assist the state to prepare an urban development policy.
The initiative seeks to develop the human settlement sector in a holistic, comprehensive and integrated manner through the formation of the state urban development policy.
It will also ensure that resources of the state especially land for urban development is used efficiently and effectively for the present and future generations without unnecessarily depleting good agriculture land.
Matane said the governor solicited the support of UN-Habitat to help prepare pilot integrated development plan for Minna and Suleja and to develop a smart city near Suleja.
He disclosed that the efforts of the governor attracted the grant from the South Korean government for the project.
He said that World Bank, Cities Alliance and Organisation for Economy Development and Cooperation also agreed to finance the policy.
Matane, however, disclosed that government had inaugurated a 33-member Technical Support Team headed by him with membership from stakeholders for the commencement of the policy.
He said that the committee would organise town hall meetings to sensitise and ensure effective participation of all residents in the policy preparation process.
He added that the meeting centres would be in Minna, Bida, Suleja and Kontagora from Nov. 16 to Dec. 10.
Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, state Coordinator on the Urban Support Programme, said out of the $900,000, the sum of $240,000 had been released to the state to organise town hall meetings and other activities.
By Rita Iliya