The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Abiola Anifowoshe has said that the Lagos State government decision to re-generate slums in the state is aimed at reducing homelessness among residents of the affected areas.
The Commissioner disclosed this at the workshop on United Nations Habitat III – Urban Thinkers Campus- The City We Need in Lagos. He said that the government has taken into appropriate and proper consideration, the plights and agony of those who may be affected if the slum dwellers were chased out of their residence.
The Commissioner said that The United Nation has identified 100 slums in Lagos state and that the responsibility of the agency was to firstly re-generate the identified slums in particular and make them habitable for residents of the state.
“We don’t just want to chase people out which may lead to mass homelessness and create problems. We have extended the regeneration efforts to five slums across the state and we are going to do more for residents”.
“In Isale-gangan for instance, we brought together about 25 families, who were living in shanties and bungalows in the slum. We asked them to come together and donate their lands. We then embark on the regeneration of the communities. Thereafter, we also provided them with world-class facilities needed and even relaxation infrastructures like swimming pool and among others”. he said.
The State Commissioner further disclosed that while the renewal was on, the people were relocated to good apartments free of charge for the resident in the slums. He also assured that the residents would return to their respective households as soon as the project had been completed.
Anifowoshe added that the Urban Thinker Campus Forum which is an initiative of UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign was conceived as an avenue for critical exchange of ideas between urban researchers and dwellers, professionals, local governments, grassroots communities, policy makers and all stakeholders to develop solutions to address urban challenges and promote sustainable urbanization in the country and whichever state they reside.