Kingsley U.N. Chikwendu —
The Nigerian Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola at an event in Lagos yesterday, themed “PPPS in Urban Regeneration: Global Best Practices, Nigerian Opportunities”, said the country’s vision and implementation of urban regeneration should lead to sustainable communities where people will like to live and stay.
He made this known while leading renowned stakeholders in both the public and private sectors in discussions on finding remedies to Nigeria’s urban housing problems.
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The event which was the fourth in Lafarge’s public policy thought-leadership series had Mr. Fashola noting that one of the major concerns of urban regeneration, despite government’s intervention in some of these blighted and unplanned communities, only a small number of people who grew up in those areas want to come back and live there.
“As we embark on regeneration of these blighted unplanned areas, two things must stand at the back of our minds, the Minister said.
“It may be difficult to find a child who wants to grow and raise a family in unplanned communities despite the interventions. Oftentimes, you will find that people grow up in these areas and want to leave later on.”
Fashola also added that acute housing deficit globally, is mainly an urban phenomenon and that historically, cities all over the world have partnered with private investors to transform slums, boost the stock of housing and provide economic opportunities to urban dwellers.
“Our government is committed to exploring tested strategies to alleviate Nigeria’s housing challenges. I have encountered very innovative ideas for partnerships with the private sector in the Concrete Ideas series.
“Being the Special Guest of Honour of Concrete Ideas for the third time, underscores our commitment to working with the private sector to transform the recommendations from the discussions into concrete solutions towards alleviating the housing and infrastructure problems in Nigerian cities.
“The beauty of Concrete Ideas is that there is an in-built mechanism for follow-up. The government will keep its side of the bargain by formulating policies out of these good ideas”, he added.