Written by Sarah NEGEDU

50% of Africa’s population to migrate to cities by 2025 - Minister

More than 50percent of Africa’s population will likely migrate to urban cities by 2025, thereby compounding the challenges of urbanization on the continent.

According to the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, most urban towns in Nigeria are in currently need of regeneration to check the spread of slums and squatter settlements in the country.

Aliyu who made the call during the commemoration of the 2019 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day organised by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, called for improved legislation to address some of the challenges.

Represented by the Director Housing, Satellite Towns Development Department, Arc. Usman Bala, the minister noted that urbanisation is taking place at different speeds in different continents globally.

The minister added that a large proportion of the urban population in Africa and Asia lived in slums and squatter settlements without basic necessities of life.

She stressed that in Africa, the proportion of city dwellers is rising at an alarming proportion and it is predicted that the rate will likely reach 50 percent by 2025.

Aliyu commended the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for creating awareness to issues surrounding urbanization in Nigeria.

She maintained that the event was in accordance with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), resolution to raise awareness, promote participation, generate knowledge and engage the international community and other stakeholders on the issues surrounding urbanization and sustainable urban development.

“During our just concluded 50th National Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, NITP, at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, I did express concern over the alarming rate of urbanisation in Africa and Asia.

“I told my colleagues (Town Planners) that a very large proportion of the urban population lived in slums and squatter settlements without basic necessities of life. I will not hold a different view in this gathering, except to add that something must be done urgently to address the challenges of urbanization.

“I therefore called for improved legislation on physical planning and urban development aimed at regeneration of Nigerian towns and cities so that we can hand-over to succeeding generations a sustainable human settlements in line with the urban agenda,” Aliyu stressed.  

She used the occasion to remind participants that the whole idea of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter, adding that the event was to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

 

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