KUALA LUMPUR DECLARATION ON CITIES 2030

We, the participants of the Ninth session of the World Urban Forum — representing  national, subnational and local governments, parliamentarians, civil society, older persons, women, youth, children, persons with disabilities, grassroots groups, indigenous peoples and local communities, private sector, foundations and philanthropies, international and regional organizations, academia, professionals and other relevant stakeholders — gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to localize and scale up the implementation of the New Urban Agenda as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Led by a strong spirit of collaboration, creativity and innovation, we share our aspirations for the future of Cities 2030 as the Cities for all where no-one and no place is left behind.

To this end, we call for the deployment of all efforts, means and resources available towards the operationalization of the concept of cities for all, ensuring that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.

We believe that global, regional, national and local implementation frameworks of the New Urban Agenda being formulated since its adoption should be supported by key enablers capable of unlocking positive transformation, such as:

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  • Strengthening the role of subnational and local governments, urban governance systems that ensure continuous dialogue among different levels of government and participation of all actors, and increasing multilevel and cross-sectoral coordination, transparency and accountability.
  • Encouraging sharing of creative solutions and innovative practices which enable a shift in mindset necessary to drive change.
  • Building inclusive partnerships and strengthening age and gender responsive environments to ensure meaningful participation and engagement at all levels.
  • Adopting integrated territorial development, including through appropriate urban planning and design instruments, to ensure sustainable management and use of natural resources and land, appropriate compactness and density, diversity of uses, and revitalization of cultural heritage.
  • Deploying monitoring and reporting mechanisms, including assessment of impacts, that encourage best practices for effective policy making.

We draw attention to the persistent challenges faced by our cities and human settlements, such as:

  • Limited opportunities and mechanisms for youth, women and grassroots organizations, as well as other civil society organizations, local, subnational and national governments, international and regional bodies to work together in planning, implementation and monitoring;
  • Inequitable access to the city, including to decent jobs, public space, affordable and adequate housing and security of land tenure, safe, efficient and accessible public transport and mobility systems, infrastructure and other basic services and goods that cities offer;
  • Insufficient protection from human rights violations, including forced evictions, and inadequate inclusion of people living in poverty, persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups in urban planning, design, and legislation processes;
  • Gender inequalities in urban economic and leaderships spheres.

We recognize that today we face emerging challenges that require urgent actions, including:

  • Recognizing that crises are increasingly urban, which calls for inclusive urbanization tools adapted to local contexts and to the nature of natural and human made disasters and conflicts, as well as to guide humanitarian assistance, fast track recovery, and contribute to building and sustaining peace.
  • Managing the complexities of increased migration into cities, at all levels, leveraging positive contributions of all and using more inclusive planning approaches that facilitate social cohesion and create economic opportunities;
  • Understanding the impact of new technologies and potential of open and accessible data, which require governance and design models that help to ensure no one is left behind;
  • Addressing growing social and cultural inequalities, lack of access to economic opportunities, that are increasingly manifested in cities.
  • Responding to environmental degradation and climate change concerns.

Actionable recommendations

We, the participants of the WUF9, leveraging the advantage of the Forum, which convenes thousands of decision makers, key actors, stakeholders and communities, generated a wealth of ideas.

We encourage the acceleration of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda through:

Frameworks

  1. Encourage the formulation of implementation frameworks for the New Urban Agenda at all levels, including monitoring mechanisms, providing a coordinated space for an effective contribution from all stakeholders, aligning to the efforts and actions of the 2030 Agenda and other international, regional, national, subnational and local development frameworks.
  1. Support the creation and consolidation of inclusive platforms and agendas for dialogue among all levels of government, decision makers and stakeholders such as regional, national and local Urban Forums and committees that can strengthen policy review and assessment of impacts. These can also foster exchange of experiences and cooperation, as well as scaling up voluntary commitments and actions from all partners.
  1. Further develop and advocate for integrated territorial development, which includes integration of sectoral policies, institutions and investment; integration among the different spheres of government; spatial integration across the urban-rural continuum; improved coordination across actors; and enhanced alignment of national, subnational and local policies with international agendas.
  1. Adapt innovative and robust mechanisms for the diversification and expansion of the means of implementation, to cater for complex and integrated approaches promoted by the New Urban Agenda. Technological innovations and improvements, research, capacity building, technical assistance and partnership development, among others, may require enhanced resourcing.

Governance and partnerships

  1. Adopt multiple collaborative governance mechanisms that actively engage national, subnational and local governments, all groups of society, including youth, women and grassroots organizations and particularly the excluded, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. This work in solidarity is critical to promote more buy-in and co-responsibility in the activities towards sustainable urban development, and to ensure the sustainability of the results.
  1. Promote multi-stakeholder constituency-based coalitions to use the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to better prevent, prepare, and respond to urban crises.

Innovative solutions

  1. Foster a culture of creativity and innovation to be embedded in the way cities and human settlements operate.
  1. Develop monitoring and data collection mechanisms, including community generated data, to enhance availability of information and disaggregated and comparable data at city, functional urban areas and community levels. This would promote informed and evidence-based decision making and policy formulation, assessing progress and impact at all levels.
  1. Create an enabling environment and develop capacities for scaling up of good practices including municipal finance, sustainable private and public investments in urban development and job creation, and generating value while advancing the public good.
  1. Adopt accessibility and universal design as core principles into national, subnational and local action plans for implementing the New Urban Agenda through inclusive, accessible and participatory processes and consultations.

We, the participants of the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum, recognize the value of the Forum convened by UN-Habitat as an inclusive platform to collect inputs from a broad range of stakeholders and to feed these into annual and quadrennial reporting on progress in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

We call to further develop the role of UN-Habitat as a focal point in the United Nations system to support all countries and mobilization of stakeholders in the implementation, follow up and review of the New Urban Agenda, including through scaled up normative support.

We thank the Government of Malaysia, the City of Kuala Lumpur, and UN-Habitat for organizing the Forum, and commit to provide continuous cooperation to the next hosts, the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the city of Abu Dhabi.

Kuala Lumpur, 13 February 2018

FG Commences Intervention Program In Housing

The Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri  says that the Federal Government is intervening in the housing sector by establishing housing programs in the 36 states of the Federation.

Mustapha Baba Shehuri disclosed this on Tuesday at the commemoration of the 2017 ‘’ World Habitat Day and World Cities Day’’ by the Ministry with the theme ‘’Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’’ and Innovative Governance, Open Cities’’ respectively.

He noted that the Federal Government was doing its best to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

He highlighted that the commemoration was focused on affordable housing and transforming the nation into a smart city. He added that priority should be giving to making housing affordable as this will enable direction in the desired transformation of the nation to a smart city.

Reiterating the Ministers statement, Nigerian Politician and Former  National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Senator Barnabas Gemade commended the current administration efforts in the housing sector.

Gemade stated that the administration was the first to recommence National Housing Program at its current scale. Referring to the current policy, he admonished the Federal Government to give more attention to the issue of housing.

Analyzing  the interest rates, he advised the need to revisit dormant funds, citing Pension funds as an example. He explained that directing the Pension Funds into Real Estate investment will certainly bring down the real estate financial cost enabling affordable housing.

He added that there was a need for a deliberate attempt to actually develop funding for  low income housing to reduce interest rates drastically.

Gemade disclosed that cities in the country are currently being planned in a tidier manner. Comparing smart cities and slums, he mentioned the presence of effective security in planned cities. He added that slums and Rural areas suffered unimpeded operations by insurgents due to lack of planning and low security.

He further explained that smart cities today are providing opportunities for better surveillance with electronic surveillance.

He noted that E-development has provided effective security with the availability of close circuits and communication gadgets.

– Miraculous Nwaka

Housing: Anambra govt. to fast track project

Prof. Solomon Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the Anambra State Government said the state would deploy resources to fast track the ongoing National Housing Project (NHP).

Chukwulobelu made this known on Thursday in Awka when he received the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri in his office.

The minister was in Anambra on his inspection tour of the NHP sites in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The site consists of a three story block of 24 units, amounting to 72 units for type A being developed by DOCHOB Nigeria Ltd.

According to him, the government will look into the project and provide resources needed, including creation of access road for major impact.

“Anambra state is growing very fast with the influx of both civil servants and public sector’s investors as well as other people.

“A few years ago, rented apartment in Enugu was much more expensive than Awka and today the reverse is the case. The same applies to Onitsha and Enugu.

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“There has to be a sustained way of housing development, state government has tried to do that in the past but no money. Now that the federal government wants to intervene, we will support it,” he added.

He further said that the state government was into Public Private Partnership (PPP) to tackle housing challenges but it was expensive because of the profit orientation of the private sector.

The SSG urged the contractors to utilise the dry season and the grace of extra months to fast track the construction.

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He noted that the state government was projecting 10,000 housing units to meet the housing needs of the people.

Ealier, the minister noted that the ministry has come up with some policies to enhance housing development in the country.

He said that the ministry would not hesitate to fund the project.

Commending the Anambra state government for providing land for the housing project, Shehuri congratulated Gov. Willie Obiano on his re-election at the just concluded state election.

“His Victory shows the acceptance of Anambra people.”

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Mr Emeka Ofor, Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development of the state, describe the project as an intervention at the right time which aimed at curbing the housing challenge faced by the citizens.

“This is the first of its type in our state and at the end our people will benefit immensely and be integrated.

The minister also visited the project site located in Isiagu, Awka where all raft foundation beams have been completed despite the challenging terrain.

Source: PM News Nigeria

How construction, real estate can drive growth, by experts

Worried by the decline recorded in their sectors in the last one and half years, stakeholders in the construction and real estate industry have suggested ways out of the woods. DAYO AYEYEMI reports
While the dust raised by the 2017 third quarter data on Nigerian’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is yet to settle, continuous decline in the real estate and construction sectors of the economy has become a source of worry for practitioners in the built environment.

Some of them, especially developers, builders, engineers, city planners and investors alike, who have expressed their concerns, have proffered solutions.
Speaking with New Telegraph, they canvassed for injection of capital; payment of huge debt owned contractors by government; institutions and structures that would ginger emergence of private businesses, attraction of institutional and foreign businesses into the country as guidelines.

The latest NBS report had shown that growth in the construction and real estate service sector had sustained decline in the last one and half years.

According to the report, the real growth rate of the construction sector in the third quarter of 2017 was recorded at -0.46 per cent (year-on-year), higher by 5.67 per cent points from the rate recorded a year previously, but -0.59 per cent points lower than the preceding quarter.

The report also showed that in the real estate service sector, which tracks the sum of fees for services rendered through data retrieved from tax authorities, real GDP growth recorded during third quarter of 2017 was -4.12 per cent, also lower by -0.59 per cent points relative to second quarter of 2017.

Reasons for decline

Analysts have attributed the decline to worsening economic environment due to falling oil output and restricted access to forex.

They noted that real estate and construction sectors did not buck the trend either, having been in free fall since last year, when the Central Bank on Nigeria published a list of 41 items that were invalid for FX.
According to analysts, most of these banned items were real estate/construction sector related, making the ban to exacerbate an already slowing sector, as most of the materials required for construction in Nigeria are typically imported.

“Making things worse, restricted access to forex and increased all around costs have pushed inflation to 11 year highs at 18.33 per cent. Coupled with negative GDP growth and increasing unemployment, a recipe for stagflation has been created,” they said.

Ongoing developments

However, In the institutional/commercial real estate space, the experts noted that multiple developments were preparing to or have broken ground over the past three quarters, especially in Victoria Island and Ikoyi.

“A few of these include the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) headquarters, Centex Residential Development, Greystone Tower, VMP III, DSPDC development and the new Diamond Bank headquarters among others,” they said.

They attributed ongoing construction activities of the buildings to developers and investors’ insistence on ensuring that the rising cost of construction does not stop them from building already conceptualized projects that have secured funding.

They added: “This is because if they do not begin building now, the rising costs could mean that the (not drawn down) funding secured to build, may be unable to complete it.”

Experts’ view

Speaking on the development, First Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, said that one of the solutions to stimulate growth in the sector was to find out what makes construction and real estate thrive globally.

He said: “It has been discovered that growth in middle class population and retail activity are often responsible for demand for quality housing units, as well as infrastructure-enabled industrial parks and development zones like free trade zones (free zones).”
He pointed out that the real estate and construction sectors were being driven by emergence of private businesses and attraction of institutional and foreign businesses into the country, while local established businesses continue to flourish.

“The answer would range between a shaky “yes” and an affirmative “no.” So, you would imagine that a decline is inevitable,” he said.

To engender growth of the sector, Ayinde warned that unless the nation makes the enabling environment possible through a review of policies in these areas, investors would keep shying away “even when the real estate sector is acknowledged to be a good hedge against inflation and that it is a major employment generator.”

Principal Partner, Akin Olawore and Company, Mr. Akin Olawore, stated that injection of capital remained the main issue in construction and real estate sectors to deliver economic activities and growth.

According to him, the market needs financial support in terms of long-term low interest mortgage to stimulate supply and open up the entire construction and real estate sectors value chain.

“Obviously, the real estate market segment that can help drive growth requires heavy capital,” he said.

Olawore stated that enduring structures and institutions were required to drive private sector capital to the market, adding that the multiplier effect of these would grow the economy exponentially.

Commenting on the NBS’s report for third quarter of 2017, Past President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Chucks Omeife, said that though it was very disheartening but it is also very factual in all respect, being the reflection of the sectors’ status since 2016.

He noted that the prevailing economic situation had made investment and new development in the built environment very difficult.

He said: “There is a lot of fear and trepidation as to unpredictable direction of the economy, which has remained comatose and has negatively impacted on Nigerians’ purchasing power.
“It’s only when an economy is buoyant and immediate survival needs have been met that the issue of shelter becomes important to a lot of people.”

However, he pointed out that the situation as presently seen had been very unpredictable as investors wanted a level of certainty in the nation’ s economic direction before investing.

To act as a catalyst for growth in the sector, Omeife stated that the government would need to pay off substantial debt owed to local contractors and also embark on the development of infrastructure projects that are yet to commence.
According to him, payments to local contractors and new projects could pump funds into the sector and assist in high reduction in the level of employment, which is very high at the moment.

“If this is done, some level of activities can be activated and the sector will gradually grow and start to contribute positively to the nation’s economic growth,” he said.

Last line

Construction and real estate sectors are engines of growth in any economy. The Federal Government must deliberately create policies to attract private businesses and institutional investors to the sectors to create jobs and generate economic activities.

FCT residents to pay for infrastructure, Govt admits reality

FCT Minister Malam Bello Muhammad has said that residents of the territory may have to pay for infrastructure as government could no longer continue to fund it.

Muhammad said this while on a inspection tour of ongoing road projects by the FCT, being executed by Gilmort Engineering Ltd. on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, tremendous amounts are needed for the provision of infrastructure in many of the districts of the FCT.

According to him, while it was possible in the past to develop the FCT, the reality now is that to develop each plot now requires tremendous amount of resources.

“I think it is just a matter of time, we will have no option but to ensure that every plot has to pay for itself.

” If you look at it on a plot to plot basis the cost of infrastructure for a plot is so high and if you look at what people pay to government it is so negligible,” he said.

According to him, 30 years ago when Abuja was created and people were encouraged to come in, it made a lot of sense for government to provide infrastructure.

Muhammad said this was because infrastructure had not matched the level of development, adding that this had to be so because government could no longer fund infrastructure, while allocating plot for free.

According to him, this is something that requires “all of us to really sit down as stakeholders and not just the FCT administration”.

He stated that if residents of FCT craved for first class infrastructure, they have to be willing to pay for it.

“That is why the development of the city without given due cognisance to funding and providing for infrastructure does not help the city.

” That is why you see that the city has so many districts with 100 per cent houses without infrastructure,” he said.

He commended the contractor for doing a good job based on the level of work on ground.

Mr Ben Simon, Chief Engineer, Gilmor Engineering Ltd said the company is determined to complete the project in 20 months.

He said that Phase I Guzape District HD has been completed and the company was working hard to ensure the completion of Phase II.

The minister visited Guzape and Jahi districts of the FCT.

NMRC Commences Skill Acquisition Programme for IDP’s on Housing Construction

The Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company in fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility, commenced its Vocational Skills Acquisition Programme earlier today at the New Kuchingoro IDP Camp, Kaura District, Abuja.

The 2 months vocational training programme which is coordinated by the Industrial Training Fund is focused on skill acquisition in the area of Masonry (Block making/ laying), Plumbing, Electrical Installation.

In a welcome address, the Executive Director, NMRC, Dr. Chii Akporji stated that the role of NMRC was to promote mortgage by releasing money to banks to give out mortgage. She noted that lack of skill is a major challenge facing housing in Nigeria. She cited that some incidences of building collapse can be traced to the lack of building skills.

The Executive Director disclosed that the goal of the training programme is to eventually build a network of NMRC artisans. She added that the platform will  serve as a channel for job placement for the artisans. She explained that the inaugural set of trainees will not be less than 45 while the consequent ones will be more than the present number.

NMRC and some beneficiaries

Speaking at the commencement of the training programme, the Director General, ITF, Sir Joseph N. Ari represented by the Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund, Usman M.Y Dadi thanked NMRC for bringing the ITF onboard to coordinate the programme.

According to him, the Industrial Training Fund is the only medium of government for job and wealth creation. He highlighted current efforts of ITF, noting that through the Women Skills Empowerment Programme, ITF has trained 30 women in Event Management and bakery. He added that the organization has employed the use of 6 mobile workshops.

Worthy of note, the Area Manager mentioned that ITF also undertakes training in the Construction industry to ensure the industry is free of building collapse. He added that ITF through this has trained many artisans.

Representing the Trainees, the IDP Camp Chairman, Philemon Emmanuel thanked NMRC for bringing the Skill Acquisition programme to the Camp.

Giving the Closing Remarks, The Camp Coordinator, Programme Trainees/Beneficiaries, Lynette Johnson thanked the NMRC for the programme adding that it was much needed to ensure creation of jobs for the members of the IDP Camp.

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