Federal government has spent N1.5billion to upgrade urban slums across the country through the urban renewal and slum upgrading programme of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
The minister of works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, stated this yesterday at the commemoration of 2021 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day held in Abuja.
Fashola who was represented by the director of planning, research and statistics, Jide Martins, said, “Considerable strides have been made in the execution of the urban renewal and slum upgrading programme to the tune of about N1.5 billion between 2019 and 2020.
“The recent efforts made under the urban renewal and slum upgrading programme has resulted in different direct and indirect benefits as well as advanced current level of progress towards reversal of the expansion of slums across Nigeria and its impact on climate change.”
He said federal government has committed to active implementation of National Housing Programme as a strategy in the current efforts to achieve green affordable housing.
“Potential benefits of green affordable housing include lower energy cost burden and improved health of the citizens. In view of this, the ministry is currently at the completion stages of the first phase of the National Housing Programme in 34 states of the federation, which provided land for them,” he added.
In his remarks, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Babangida Hussaini, said cities have to plan for shocks and stresses that affect life, property and socio-economic status of their inhabitants.
Hussaini added that the reflection on this theme is to make our cities safer, smarter and pleasant for habitation regardless of the vagaries of the climate change.
He said, “It is pertinent to state that well governed cities greatly reduce climate related risks for their populations.
“Therefore, creating more sustainable climate resilient communities involve addressing a range of issues including poverty reduction, ensuring basic services, providing adequate, affordable and accessible housing, investing in infrastructure, upgrading informal settlements and managing ecosystems.
“Consequently, this global commemoration is inherited to promote cooperation and partnership among countries to enable them seize the opportunities and face the challenges of urbanisation,” he added.
The country coordinator for UN Habitat, Mr Paul Okunola, said city leadership is using green materials and constructing energy-efficient, resilient buildings powered by renewable energy. He noted that this is essential to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Okunola said the benefits are enormous; less pollution and climate risk, more jobs, and better health and wellbeing.