From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Stakeholders have charged the Niger State government to ensure that the formulation of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for Minna and Suleja Cities should be able to address the problem of current inadequate infrastructure in the two cities.
They made the declaration during a two-day Technical Interactive Session on UN-Habibat Integrated Development Plan Formulation Mission for Minna and Suleja cities in Minna on Tuesday.
The Director, Center for Human Settlement and Urban Development, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Mohammed Bashra, said that government initiative to integrate cities would enhance good network for integrating people’s ideas and vision of how their cities should be.
According to him, “On development concept, IDP will ensure orderliness from people as the project will be owned, manage and maintain by the people. It will bring about people’s participation as the people will own the projects for sustainability, ” he said.
Also, Hajiya Jummai Agwai, a participant, called on government to ensure that the IDP formulation would help in addressing issues of unemployment among women and youth.
In same vein, Dr Bashir Ahmed, a stakeholder from the Federal University Technology, said that his aspirations for the IDP for Minna and Suleja was to see a city of inclusive, peaceful and well organised for the less privilege to see opportunities for economic development.
In his remarks, Mr Micheal Kinyanjui, Regional Metropolitan Officer, UN-Habibat, called on stakeholders to participate adequately and support the IDP formulation process by coming up with ideas on how they expect their cities to be.
He added that the formulation of IDP would enable residents of the state to take charge of the development, governance and available potentials in their cities.
Also, Mrs Rossana Poblet, UN-Habibat Consultant for IDP Formulation in Niger, said the interactive session was to identify key actors and problems bordering cities, identify the potentials and come up with possible solution.
She added that the IDP formulation would serve as guideline for cities to identify available resources and potentials and how to manage them to benefit the people.
In his address, Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme, explained that the IDP would enhance the state planning system and development to avoid environmental issues.
Niger government is partnering with the United Nations Habitat to develop an integrated development plans for Minna and Suleja cities.