From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger State Government has begun the formation of Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for Minna and Suleja cities to make them equitable, socially inclusive, engaging, resilient and self-sustaining cities.
The Regional Metropolitan Officer, UN-Habitata, Mr Micheal Kinyanjui disclosed this when he led a delegation from UN-Habitat to the state for the preparation of IDP yesterday in Minna.
He noted that the UN-Habitat was delighted with the commitment of Niger government to come up with an IDP for major cities on human settlement for their sustainability.
According to him, “Niger is the first state in Nigeria that has shown commitment to the implementation of urban support programme, this shows that the state is ready to work and see how to manage development process, “
Kinyanjui explained that the formulation process of the IDP for Minna and Suleja would involve stakeholders participation to come up with their development process.
Also, Rossana Poblet, UN-Habitat Consultant for IDP in Niger,called for collaboration between Minna and Suleja emirate, adding that the IDP would involve individual participation.
She pledged to support the state to prepare its IDP and called on the government to set up a technical team for Minna and Suleja.
“See the challenges and potentials, there are a lot of potentials and resources as well as active dynamic people such as technicians, communities, academia, and everybody to run and develop the plan, “ she said.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the State Technical Support Team, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, expressed optimism with the commitment of the state governor to ensure the implementation of the programme.
He said that the IDP would help harmonise and integrate major cities in the state which were expanding on daily basis towards their development.
Matane disclosed that many investors were already indicating interest in the IDP to invest and develop Suleja and said government put in resources and make the environment conducive for the development of the IDP.
The Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme, PrOf. Mustapha Zubairu explained that the IDP would be stakeholders driven process to guide activities such as physical, social, economic, cultural and environmental in each of the cities.
He added that the effort for government to create an enabling environment for residents and investors to provide products, services and skills required for economy to grow.
Niger government is partnering with the United Nation Habitat to develop an integrated development plan for Minna and Suleja cities.
The UN-Habitat will prepare an integrated plan for towns and cities in the state to help modernise them to be self-sustaining and prepare IDP for Minna and build the capacity of MDAs to manage the new plan policy.