The Niger State Government has called on residents to participate and take ownership of formulation and implementation of the state urban policy programme.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Prof. Zubairu Mustapha, Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme, made the call during a town hall meeting in Kontagora to sensitise communities on the formulation of the state urban policy.
He said that the policy was to build capacities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to function effectively in order to boost the state economy and increase revenue generation.
He explained that the state Gov. Abubakar Bello had in May 2017 attended the second International Conference on National Urban Policy in Paris based on the invitation of UN-Habitat.
Mustapha disclosed that the presentation of the governor attracted a grant of $900,000 dollar from South Korean government to prepare integrated development plan for Minna and Suleja and also to develop Smart City in Suleja.
“We have done similar town hall meetings in Minna, Bida centers and now Kontagora. We will do that of Suleja on Monday. The meeting is to inform Nigerlites about the policy which will be formulated based on the challenges identified by various councils during the meeting.
“Niger is one unique state among other states because of its large landmass. Take for instance, countries like Singapore that has less than 1 per cent of the land Niger has and yet it is doing well with it’s resources.
“Niger has twelve irrigation dams and agriculture projects that are not utilised, it has potentials to generate revenue without survival on federal allocation, resources are at every disposals but no capacity to effectively manage resources,” he said.
Mustapha called on the people in the various wards to support their chairmen and participate in the process because most projects are situated at wards level.
In his address, Gov. Abubakar Bello, who was represented by Alhaji Baba Wachiko, Permanent Secretary, Economic Affairs, appealed to communities to reach consensus on the challenges of their councils and articulate the aspirations of the people on a sustainable and development path.
Stakeholders at the meeting were Alhaji Maudu Ahmed, Dodo Wawa, Hajiya Sahadatu Bokani, Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism and Alhaji Sa’idu Namaske, Emir of Kontagora, who was represented by Alhaji Yusuf Zakari.