By Rita Iliya
Stakeholders in Niger on Tuesday called on the state government to involve them in the implementation process of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for Minna and Suleja cities.
The stakeholders made the call during a two-day Technical Interactive Session on UN-Habitat IDP Formulation Mission for Minna and Suleja cities in Minna on Tuesday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Niger state government is partnering with the United Nations Habitat to develop an integrated plan for the two cities.
Prof. Mohammed Bashra, Director, Center for Human Settlement and Urban Development, Federal University of Technology, Minna, said the initiative would enhance good network for integrating people’s ideas and vision of their cities.
“On the development concept, IDP will ensure orderliness from people as the project will be owned, managed and maintained by the people. It will bring about people’s participation as the people will own the projects for sustainability,’’ Bashra said.
The don advised government to integrate all opinions in order to ensure that the cities are common-man friendly, not a city that is difficult to live in.
Hajiya Jummai Agwai, a participant, called on government to ensure that the IDP formulation helps in addressing issue of women and youth empowerment.
“Government should make a policy that will address issues of youth restiveness and women empowerment in the state,’’ she said.
Similarly, Malam Mohammed Yakubu, another participant, noted that the IDP formulation should address issues of infrastructure, provide good governance for sustainable management and harness the natural resources of the state.
In his remarks, Mr Michael Kinyanjui, Regional Metropolitan Officer, UN-Habitat, called on stakeholders to participate adequately and support the IDP formulation process by coming up with ideas on how they expected their cities to be.
Kinyanjui said that formulation of the plan would enable residents take charge of the development, governance and available potentials in their cities.
Also, Mrs Rossana Poblet, UN-Habitat Consultant for IDP Formulation in Niger, said the interactive session was to identify key actors and problems bothering the cities, identify the potentials and come up with possible solution.
Poblet added that the IDP formulation would serve as a guideline for cities to identify available resources and potentials and how to manage them for people’s benefit.
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 hindrances.