Three foreign donor agencies from Sweden and the United States of America (USA) are partnering with the University of Abuja on urban renewal, better town planning methods and the provision of essential infrastructural services to rural communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The foreign agencies collaborating with the Sultan Maccido Institute, University of Abuja, include the Nordic Institute and two other research agencies from the Republic of Sweden which are undertaking the task of studying Nigeria’s urbanization problems to determine areas for likely intervention.
At a round-table discussion yesterday at the University in Abuja, which centered on causes, problems, and implications of rural urban migration and congestion, participants agreed with environmentalists of the University of Abuja that past and present administrations have not done much to control urban population growth in major towns in Nigeria.
The participants, who included nationals from Sweden, the United States and other West African countries like Ghana and Mali, agreed with suggestions that mitigation efforts by federal and state governments fell short of expectations and should be increased to control erosion problems, unplanned development of towns and cities as well as destruction of natural environments across the country.
One of the speakers, Professor Clement Chupi, of the Faculty of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Abuja argued strongly that the inability of the state to meet the demands of rural populations was largely responsible for rural-urban drift, unplanned development of towns and the rise in private bore-holes that pose serious threats to the ecosystem especially under-ground water table.
Director, Sultan Maccido Institute, Dr. Uwakwe Abugu, after the visit to Gwako village in Gwagwalada Area Council and a courtesy visit to the Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Mustapha Adamu Danze, by participants said a comprehensive report would be produced to guide participating agencies and foreign donors on the proposed intervention in the FCT urban renewal effort.
Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Mustapha Adamu Danze, while receiving the visitors in his office appealed to donor agencies to do everything humanly possible to speed up development processes in rural communities of the FCT, saying governments alone cannot carry out the enormous task.