*As FG mulls Bodo Plain National Park
From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has refused to support the FCTA with a grant for the redevelopment of Nyanya, a major slum in the nationâ€™s capital.
The cost to transform the settlement into high density luxury apartment is estimated at N5.4 billion.
The Director of Development Control Abuja Metropolitan Management Company (AMMC) Mukhtar Galadima, said AfDB declined because it wanted a slum worse than Nyanya so they could improve on it.
However, The UN Habitat has already declared the settlement of 49, 000 settlers and which covers approximately 107 hectares as unfit for human habitation.
Galadima gave the insight at a retreat on the role of the media in the review of the Abuja Masterplan.
The National Assembly has already mandated the review of the FCT Masterplan, which has not been carried out since 1977 when the first plan was drafted by International Planning Associates (IPA).
Abuja was specially conceived as Nigeriaâ€™s capital. With a population of 776,296 in 2006, the influx of people over the years has stretched the facilities and grown the population to almost 6million people.
Using Nyanya Labour Camp as a part of FCT urban renewal solution, Galadima said the residents shunned government entreaties to relocate to Gidan Gaya.
He said the resident association rejected the idea because they felt government planned to sell the land now that its value has increased by over 500 per cent.
He said the people also rejected the option of phased redevelopment after which the buildings will be transferred to them instead of relocation.
The camp was built in the early 1980s to provide temporary housing for delegates on national assignment and as guest houses for students and security agents.
Subsequently, the quarters were allocated to the immigration officers, policemen and civil servants.
He lamented that the migration from other cities to Nyanya was so high that the labour camp is virtually faced with security risk, health hazard, social menace and over stretched social amenities and facilities.
â€œHowever, when you look at the critical position, you see that those people in Nyanya are living in a health risk environment. The area is densely populated with as many as 10 persons crammed in a room. There are also issues about poor structural quality and durability of the houses, poor assess to water and other facilities and lack of sanitation facilities,â€ Galadima said.
He said FCTA officials tried to apply the Kenyan experience in the upgrading of the Kibera slum in Nairobi, where government championed public participation at the end of which new houses were built and people taken from their squalid environment to better places.
Meanwhile as part of review of the Abuja Masterplan, the federal government has also proposed the Bobo Plains National Park in the FCT.
According to Dr Yahaya Yusuf of the of Faculty of Environment Design, Baze University, the Bobo Plains National Park tht measures 8,000 hectares will preserve different wild animals and promote tourism and recreation.
It will be the 13th national park spread across the country under the National National Park Service (NNPS).