Nigeria – 50 Million Citizens Live in Slums
Abuja — Programme Officer of the United Nations Habitat Programme Support Office (HAPSO), Barnabas Atiyaye, has said 50 million out of the 140 million Nigerians live in slums across the country.
Atiyaye stated this at a media chat organised by Women Environmental Programme on climate change and housing for the poor in the context of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said the shelter conditions of the poor are deteriorating, as 70 per cent of the urban dwellers live in slums.
He pointed out that housing represents the most basic of human needs and has a profound impact on the health, welfare and productivity of individuals, adding that globally, one billion people still lack adequate shelter and basic services.
He noted with dismay that the Nigerian government does not have data on the urban poor, thus making it difficult to plan for them.
To this end, he called on the government to prepare and adopt land use plans for all human settlements, suggesting that local government councils should administer land matters to make land more accessible to the poor.
Speaking in the same vein, former Vice Chancellor of Benue State University, David Ker, said “lack of housing options for the poor, the vagaries of climate change and its impact on the vulnerable, attendant urbanisation, present daunting challenges to us a people and a nation.”
He noted that climate change and urban poverty are inextricably linked, adding that the living conditions of low-income slum settlements are deplorable and deleterious to health and wellbeing of residents.