A new global ‘road map’ to provide leadership for local authorities to efficiently guide and manage urban development has began in Kogi State,with Kogi State Governor Capt Idris Wada, calling on the people of the State to key into his administrations program of sanitation.
The State Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, stated this when he received a UN-Habitat- UNEP group who are on a three day scooping mission to the state.
The Governor said the new urban agenda as is been worked out by the UN-Habitat team, recognizes that Lokoja is a fast growing city and that its prosperity will be shaped by the drivers of growth, equity and sustainability.
Capt Wada urged the UN-Habitat team to use their visit to begin a process that will contribute to a shared vision for sustainable urban development of the State Capital, having been selected as one of the ten cities under resilience by the UN.
The scooping mission the Governor noted should see a development of a city structure plan for selected cities and towns in Kogi state, so as to better integrate physical, spatial and social aspects of the State.
The Governor called for every technical support from the visiting team to make Lokoja a befitting city, assured of his administration’s commitment to ensure that suggestion made by the UN-Habit mission is realized.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary to Kogi Government, Prof Olugbemiro Jegede, said the UN-Habit mission was occasioned by two separate visits by senior officials of Kogi State Government reaching an agreement for development of a city structure plan for selected cities and towns in the State.
Prof Jegede, commended the desire of the state government towards having an improved cities for the state,solicited the support of stakeholders in making the dream realized.
In his remarks, Prof. Oyeyinka Oyebanji on behalf of UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Aisa Kcyira, said the UN-Habitat mission is in the State to improve on best practices and participation of the people to improving the state’s environment. The visit of the UN-Habit, Prof. Oyeyinka Oyebanji disclosed is to among others improve the quality of water and sanitation in major cities of the state as well as developing waste management for the state. The visit he also added is aimed at improving the understanding of urban law and norms and their relationship to institutional structures leading to empowered local authorities able to efficiently guide and manage urban development.
Furthermore, the visit according to Prof. Oyeyinka Oyebanji will aim at developing safe cities in the state to address social inclusion, improved integration, mobility and connectivity and better service delivery.
Lastly, the visit seeks to develop an urban observatory programme to address the state-wide base of urban knowledge to support the government, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and civil society in applying policy-oriented urban indicators, statistics and other urban information.
Recently, Lokoja, the Kogi State capital it would be recalled was one of the ten cities selected by UN-Habitat for its City Resilience Profiling Programme CRPP.
Highlights of the UN-Habit team’s visit was lecture presentation on issues of environment and interaction with major stakeholders.
The team as part of its three day working visit will pay visit to the three senatorial districts to do assessment of urbanization and issues of environment.