The federal government has called for private sector investments in the provision of affordable housing and urban infrastructure.
The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Architect Ahmed Dangiwa, made the call in a Keynote address at an event to mark the World Cities Day in Abuja recently.
Dangiwa equally called on international development partners and other stakeholders to collaborate in that regard.
“We, therefore, call for private sector investments in the sector by leveraging on the Ministry’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement already in place to mobilise financing for affordable housing and urban development,” he said.
The theme of the commemoration is ‘Resilient Urban Economies. Cities as Drivers of Growth and Recovery’ and Financing Sustainable Urban Future for All’.
Represented by the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Alhaji Abdullahi Gwarzo, Dangiwa said urbanisation had become one of the most transformative forces shaping our world in this 21st century.
“It is a phenomenon that can be harnessed to enhance economic productivity, inclusive growth, and environmental sustainability. Urban dwellers now account for more than 50 percent of Nigeria’s population and are expected to increase to 60 percent by the year 2030.
“We have to make adequate preparations for the expected upsurge of population in our cities through effective urban planning management and building the needed resilience and innovation to absorb the expected shocks,” Dangiwa said.
He said the federal government was paying thoughtful attention to the issues and challenges of urbanisation in the country.
Dangiwa said the issue of financing for affordable housing and urban infrastructure remained the cardinal focus of the ministry and solicited collaborations and partnerships from development partners and other stakeholders.
The minister added that as the world builds and consolidates the foundation of the New Urban Agenda, urgent steps were required to rectify past imperfections.
“We envisage an urban future where economic growth and prosperity proceed with equity; one where human exploitation of the natural environment is carried on sustainably; and one where poverty and inequality are attenuated by strong human-centered policies. Over the years, I have realized that inefficient urbanisation resulting from a lack of sustainable development financing can result in diseconomies of scale and negative externalities.
“Further exacerbating issues that contribute toward decelerating progress of achieving the SDGs, such as poverty, climate change, and pollution. The government alone cannot handle financing for housing and urban development.
In a virtual message, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, said governments, organisations, the private sectors and civil society must work together to mobilise finance for resilient, sustainable cities.
Guterres said equitable financing solutions should be encouraged at a global level, in addition to innovative and diverse funding sources to strengthen local financing strategies that are climate-friendly, inclusive, and equitable.