FG worries on slums, squatter settlements without basic amenities

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By Oluwaseun, Abuja

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said that the Federal Government was worried over the growing number of slums and squatter settlements without basic amenities across several communities in the country.

He made it known while addressing participants at the ‘Commemoration of the 2019 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day in Abuja recently.

According to him “Nigerian government was working hard to tackle the issue of slums and rural development nationwide.

“We are working assiduously to address the housing challenges, the infrastructure challenges we face, the challenges posed by unplanned cities and the growing number of slum and squatter settlements as well as the lack of basic services in our neighbourhoods and communities,” he noted.

Fashola said notable government agencies were collaborating to tackle identified problems in the housing sector and in alleviating poverty across the country, with focus on building a virile economy for all citizens.

“We want to ensure that poverty levels are drastically reduced, and that the economy grows in such a way that jobs are created, and inequalities are reduced as much as possible.

“We are also collaborating more with other focal agencies such as the newly established Family Homes Fund (FHF), Federal Integrated Staff Housing Programme (FISH) and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) to provide more houses in the market,” Fashola added.

In the same vein, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, in her remarks noted that many urban towns in Nigeria needed regeneration, because urbanisation was taking place at different speed in different continents globally.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director, Housing, Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD), Usman Isyaku Bala, noted that the proportion of city dwellers was rising at an alarming proportion and it was predicted that the rate would likely reach 50 per cent by 2025.