BY Chika Okeke, Abuja
The United Nations- Habitat programme manager for Nigeria, Tpl Kabir Yari, has tasked the federal government on achieving the ideals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) by making cities inclusive for low income earners.
This he said was necessary to bridge the inequality gap between the rich and poor to enable Nigerians utilise their potentials and contribute meaningfully to economic development.
He stated this in Abuja yesterday, at a briefing marking the 2017 World Town Planning Day, organised by the Abuja chapter of Nigerian Institute Of Town Planners (NITP) with the theme, “Inclusive Cities & Communities.”
According to him, “Most low income people will not be able to afford housing so issues of inclusive policy includes making houses affordable to majority of people living in urban areas so that problems associated with unaffordable housing will be reduced.”
Yari noted that for Nigeria to make giant strides that there is a need to upgrade and provide services to people living in informal settlements, adding that their productivity would help to improve the productivity of the town and national development.
“Because people cannot afford to buy houses, they go to satellite towns. In the morning, the roads are blocked, productivity will be reduced, there will be more congestion and fuel consumption; when you have more people and cars idling, the more the environment will be polluted and this is the time we are talking about addressing climate change.”
While enjoining federal government to focus on urban upgrading, urban renewal and urban re-development, he noted that Nigerian town planners are committed to creating awareness on the issue of inclusiveness.