By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to contribute to the successful implementation of the Un- Habitat activities in the country.
Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr Abubakar Aliyu, made the reaffirmation this recently when a delegation from the UN-Habitat Mission paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Aliyu assured the UN –Habitat that the Ministry of Works and Housing would continue to ensue more of Federal Government voluntary contribution to its activities.
Engr.Aliyu added that the agenda of establishing a regional Multi Country office, West Africa in Abuja for the organization was being pursued by the Ministry.
He expressed Nigeria’s desire to initiate the establishment of a broad based Multi Sectoral National Habitat Advisory Committee that would be charged with the responsibility of advising the government on the domestication and implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) in Nigeria, seeking intervention programmes for implementation pertaining to the NUA and mobilizing sources of donor to UN – Habitat activities.
While urging the UN body to fast track the Yobe Project because of the slow procurement process, Engr Aliyu also stressed the need to coordinate the implementation of the HAPSO and African Urban Agenda Work plans.
“ We are able to restore normalcy in the area, I urge you to fast track the Yobe project which we discussed earlier, the procurement process is slow “ he said
Earlier, the leader of the delegation Mathias Spaliviero who is also the Senior Human Settlements Officer, Regional Office for Africa, informed the Minister that his team was in the country to engage national partners with respect to the proposed and on-going COVID- 19 intervention projects and implementation of the New Urban Agenda as well as the Sustainable Development Goals amongst other activities.
He gave the status of the on-going Karu Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA/UN-Habitat project and its replication in the North East especially Yobe State before taking it to other areas of the country as a National Programme of intervention.
He stated that already the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) has made available a grant of USD220 to carry out emergency wash, health and other Urban Planning interventions in Karu peri-urban settlements in Nassarawa State to mitigate the negative health and social –economic impacts of COVID – 19 pandemic.