Experts advocate for sustainable urban cities, say poverty breeds slums

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Photo: Dr Sabiu Sani, Director, Sustainable Development Centre, Uniabuja, second left, with other participants at the World Habitat Day ceremony 

Experts advocate for sustainable urban cities, say poverty breeds slums

Prof Sule Magaji of the economics department University of Abuja, says poverty is the major cause of urban slums in the Federal Capital Territory and the entire country.

Magaji made this assertion on Tuesday in Abuja during the World Habitat Day celebration organised by the Sustainable Development Centre of the institution.

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He said many people were living in the slums because they could not afford the standard of living at the city centers.

According to him, the number of persons living in a house indicate whether a person is living in a slum or not.

He estimated the population of people living in slums in the country at 53 per cent.

Corroborating Magaji’s submission. Prof Margaret Ba’al of the sociology department of the institution, said that to eradicate poverty among those living in the slums, government needed to provide basic amenities.

Ba’al also said that the system needed to change so that the poor can have a minimum wage with which they would sustain themselves.

Also speaking, Mr Roland Uwakwe from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, said that the ministry would carry out study to tackle urban slums, share the report with the state government and the people living in the slums.

This, according to him, had been done in Gwagwa, Gwagwalada and many other places in the FCT, adding that the ministry was also collaborating with other stakeholders towards finding a solution to the challenges of urban slums.

Uwakwe added that the ministry was working hard to provide basic infrastructures and facilities to change the lives of people in the slums.

Dr Sabiu Sani, Director, Sustainable Development Centre, said that Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, was surrounded by slums which he said were breeding grounds of many problems.

He stated that the event was to create awareness on the importance of  World Habitat Day which is usually celebrated every first Monday in the month of October.

Sani emphasised the need to address the issue of slums in the Federal Capital Territory for sustainable cities and promote better  urban future, adding that more people are now living in the urban areas than the rural areas.

Prof Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, Vice Chancellor,  University of Abuja, in his remark, appealed to students to utilize the facilities in the institution property so as not to turn it to a slum.

He said that the institution was working hard to improve its facilities and make its environs suitable for all.

He therefore called for support from the students and management to improve the conditions of living within the school premises.

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