From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has said the administration plans to partner with UN-HABITAT (the United Nations Human Settlement Programme) to improve and develop critical infrastructure such as mass housing, transportation and waste management.
Bello stated this when he received a delegation of officials of UN-HABITAT, led by its Director, Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Naison Mutizwa Mangiza, on a courtesy visit to the FCTA.
He said the FCT population was growing and facing challenges like provision of affordable mass housing, mass transportation and waste management.
Relating to the provision of a functional and affordable mass transportation system which will not impact negatively on the environment, the minister called for technical assistance for the use of electric or hybrid mass transportation buses that will release less or none of harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere that is currently occurring with the use of diesel powered mass transportation buses.
He noted that the use of electric/hybrid buses to create a reliable mass transportation system will reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and ultimately lead to a cleaner and safer environment.
In the same vein, he suggested possible sources of renewable energy such as solar for charging purposes.
On waste management, Bello said that the technical support of the UN organisation will help the FCT better manage waste collection and disposal which includes recycling.
This, he said has the potential of providing jobs for many unemployed youths in the society.
The minister also commended UN-HABITAT’s plans to upgrade the Nigeria country office to a Multi-country office.
He stressed the need for FCT to avoid mistakes of many urban cities that tend to grow, develop and eventually decay. He also emphasized on the greening policy of the Administration in confronting the challenges that tend to bedevil many urban cities.
Bello also accepted the invitation of the UN HABITAT to attend the World Urban Forum (WUF 10) scheduled to hold in Abu Dhabi next year
Earlier, the UN-HABITAT Regional Director had commended Nigeria’s leadership role in the funding of UN-HABITAT programmes and activities, not only in Nigeria, but other African countries.
Dr. Mangiza said they were in the FCTA to see how UN HABITAT can provide support for the Administration especially in the areas of proposal conceptualization to access funds and capacity development.