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Nigeria’s Zamfara State contributes USD 2 Million for joint projects with UN-Habitat Bookmark and Share
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Nairobi, 14 Jan 14

Nigeria’s Zamfara State on Tuesday signed an agreement under which it will make a contribution of USD 2 million to UN-Habitat over three years (2014-2016) for socio-economic and urban planning projects in selected towns and cities of the state.

Under the agreement signed by the Zamfara State Governor Mr. Abdul’ Aziz Yari Abubakar and UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos, the Nigerian state is expected to contribute the seed fund while the UN-Habitat which provides manpower, knowledge and skills is to be responsible for receiving and administrating the funds contributed for the implementation of the chosen projects namely City Structure Plan for selected cities and towns, Water and Sanitation, establishment of Zamfara Urban Observatory, and Integrated Solid Waste management programme (jointly with UNEP), and Local Economic Development Initiatives focusing on youth employment.

Governor Abubakar remarked that his state has a lot to offer and expressed optimism that the agreement with UN-Habitat would go a long way in helping them achieve their urbanisation targets.

“The state has a lot of potential but lacks the technical expertise and I am assuring you that my government is ready to work with UN-Habitat so that we realize our full potential,” the Governor who was flanked by several members of his cabinet said.

In his remarks, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Kenya who is also the Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat Mr. Akin Oyateru commended the state for deciding to buy into UN-Habitat’s vision of the New Urban Agenda. “Shelter is one of the most important things for human beings and the way we do shelter must ensure that we help create jobs which are crucial in addressing the problem of youth unemployment,” he said.

On his part, Dr. Clos noted that Zamfara is a well-endowed state adding such wealth ought to be augmented with planned urbanisation. “I think you can take charge of urban development in your state but this comes with a shift in mentality. We should not only concentrate on construction but other economic services like banking. I am also told that agriculture is thriving in that state and it would be very important to link agricultural and urban development,” he said.

Professor Oyebanji Oyeyinka, Director and Chief Scientific Advisor, who is the overall coordinator of the programme listed the benefits of the partnership which include Zamfara plugging into UNHABITAT’s vast network of partners, relative lower cost of projects compared with private consultancies and the leveraging of funds and international aids based on the outcomes of the programme.

By yesterday’s signing of contribution agreement, this now brings to six the total number Nigerian states that have entered into a similar agreement with UN-Habitat. Others are Anambra, Ondo, Osun, Nassarawa and Kogi. Reports from that country indicate that several other states are also showing interest of coming on board.

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