By Stanley Onyekwere
In order to accelerate development especially in the critical areas of transportation waste management as well as mass housing, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has sought for robust partnership with United Nations Human Settlement Programme.
Bello made the call when he received a delegation of officials of UN-HABITAT led by its Director, Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Naison Mutizwa Mangiza, on a courtesy visit to the FCTA.
The FCT Minister noted that with the increasing population of the FCT, some of the major challenges confronting the Territory included provision of affordable mass housing, mass transportation and waste management.
On the provision of a functional and affordable mass transportation system which will not impact negatively on the environment, the Minister called for technical assistance for the use of electric or hybrid mass transportation buses that will release less or none of harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere that is currently occurring with the use of diesel powered mass transportation buses.
According to him, the use of electric/hybrid buses to create a reliable mass transportation system will reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and ultimately lead to a cleaner and safer environment.
The Minister also suggested possible sources of renewable energy such as solar for charging purposes.
On waste management, Malam Bello also said that the technical support of the UN organization will help the FCT better manage waste collection and disposal which includes recycling, which has the potential of providing jobs for many unemployed youths in the society.
While commending the UN-HABITAT’s plans to upgrade the Nigeria country office to a Multi-country office, the Minister stressed the need for FCT to avoid mistakes of many urban cities that tend to grow, develop and eventually decay.
He also emphasized on the greening policy of the Administration in confronting the challenges that tend to bedevil many urban cities.
Bello also accepted the invitation of the UN HABITAT to attend the World Urban Forum (WUF 10) scheduled to hold in Abu Dhabi next year
Earlier, the UN-HABITAT Regional Director had commended Nigeria’s leadership role in the funding of UN-HABITAT programmes and activities, not only in Nigeria, but other African countries.
Mangiza said they were in the FCTA to see how UN HABITAT can provide support for the Administration especially in the areas of proposal conceptualization to access funds and capacity development.