Lagos rallies experts on habitat issues

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Seasoned scholars and experts in the field of Physical, Urban and Regional Planning are converging on Lagos to observe the World Habitat Day on Monday.

The World Habitat Day is a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to reflect on the state of towns and cities as well as the basic rights of the people to adequate shelter.

Although many countries of the world had joined the UN to observe the Day on October 3; Lagos’ event is belated due to the national Independence Holiday declared by the Nigerian government which coincided with the global Day.

Pre-event media briefing
The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Abiola Anifowoshe at a pre-event media briefing says government intends to “use the occasion to rededicate itself to the imperative of adequate shelter and sustainable human settlements.”

Mr Anifowoshe said that the event would sensitise citizens on the significant role that the World Habitat Day played in informing policies and actions taken by government to positively impact on housing and slums, risk reduction and basic urban services.

“For us as a State, the event is very significant in many respects as it has become part of concerted efforts of the state to promote planned development, to create awareness and sensitise the general public on the need for a change, to better respond to contemporary challenges of planning and urbanisation, drawing attention to World Habitat Day and its theme, ‘Housing at the Centre,’ especially with regard to sustainable human development programme; we will raise awareness through mass and social media: press articles, radio and television, newspapers, exhibitions, organise press conferences, broadcast video and audio spots, facebook, twitter, Instagram and YouTube, etc,” he explained.

Some of the panelists and Keynote Speakers at the event include a renowned Nigerian Economist, Professor Pat Utomi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, a former President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr Waheed Kadiri as well as the UN Habitat Programme Manager in Nigeria, Mr Kabir Yari.

The event is annually organised by the UN-Habitat, the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanisation.

Mercy Chukwudiebere