Kogi, UN-Habitat sign $1.3m agreement on urban renewal


Barely two months after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the duo on urban renewal programmes, the Kogi State Government and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), a $1.3 million agreement to facilitate the project was signed at the weekend to strengthen the relationship.

The agreement of cooperation will focus on structural plan and develop urban legislation, laws, and practices that govern the management and development of the urban environment; developing an early warning system for climate-related extreme events such as floods and droughts among others.

Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, signed on behalf of the state while Prof. Oyebanji Oyeyinka signed on behalf of UN-Habitat.

Specifically, the funds provided will be used to support the following structural and urban plan for Kogi State: Develop City Structure Plans for selected cities that draw on and strengthen the state’s on-going successful urban renewal programme; develop urban legislation and urban laws programme, a collection of policies, laws, and practices that govern the management and development of the urban environment and citizens’ behaviour; establish the Kogi State Urban Observatory – a unique monitoring system developed by UN-Habitat, that builds indicator systems through data collection, analysis, monitoring and reporting on sustainable urbanisation.

Others are developing an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, a holistic, strategic and systematic approach to solid waste management based on the Waste Management Hierarchy Model: Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover and Dispose; developing an early warning system for climate-related extreme events such as floods and droughts. A prototype – in the form of a guidance tool, that provide guidance on managing extreme events from the back end – data collection sources to the front end – delivery of warnings to vulnerable people; construct model public spaces that focus on bridging the urban divide and promoting socio-economic inclusiveness. It will also address social inclusion, improved integration, mobility and connectivity, better basic service delivery. This fourth project will be partly supported by UN-Habitat.

Awoniyi, in his remarks, said “This is a major event for the Kogi State because the state believes that this effort marks a major paradigm shift in the way the cities and towns planned and operate. Proper urban planning is the most sustainable solution to the state flooding challenge”.

UN-Habitat representative said “The signing of this Agreement shows the strong commitment of the state government in delivering the promises made to its people,” Prof. Banji said.

It would be recalled that the state government and UN-Habitat had in August, signed a MoU that will integrate the physical, spatial and social aspects of the state.

The agreement was aimed at improving the understanding of urban law and norms and their relationship to institutional structures leading to empowered local authorities able to efficiently guide and manage urban development.

It will also seek to develop an urban observatory programme to address the state-wide base of urban knowledge to support the government, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and civil society in applying policy-oriented urban indicators, statistics and other urban information.