The Nigerian Institute of Town Planning (NITP) Lagos Chapter, has advised the state government to upgrade slums in the state to facilitate comprehensive development.
Mr Bisi Adedire, Chairman of the Institute gave the advice in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Lagos.
The chairman said that many areas of the state had been converted to slum zones as a result of poor attitude to planning and urban renewal.
According to him, the physical conditions of the areas which have been abandoned to swamp can be upgraded to harbour residents.
Commending the state government on its efforts to enhance the development of the state, Adedire urged it to pay more attention to slums/urban renewal programmes.
Adedire said that urban renewal entailed removal and demolition of the small apartments, shanties, bungalows, among others, that flooded the state to build modernised structures that could accommodate more people.
He said that urban regeneration would also involve complete upgrading of the slums and the entire environment, stressing that 70 per cent of the Lagos environment was still slums.
“Any place that does not have good motorable link roads, decent building, electricity, drinkable water, among others is classified as a slum. And many areas in the state still lack these basic amenities.
“Lagos as a megacity cannot be devoid of the appropriate levels of social infrastructure like transit system, schools, hospitals, public spaces, sporting and recreational grounds, retail and entertainment centres,’’ he said.
According to him, with the recurrence of building collapse, the need to embark on the upgrade of the slum areas in the state becomes pertinent.
Adedire stressed the need for the state government to earmark specific slums areas that needed to be upgraded and set out plans to accomplish it.
“A development plan is needed in this aspect of our state as the population growth is expected to double by 2050, making Lagos the third most populous city in the world.
“Although Lagos is experiencing an infrastructural boom, it is not enough to cater for the teeming population of the state as most of the areas do not have link roads, making it cumbersome for residents to commute easily within the state.
“Upgrading the slums means creating more accommodation for the teeming population of the state.
“All that government needs to do is to identify the renewable areas in the state and give it to the private sector to develop, having provided the enabling environment and facilities for the smooth operation of the private developers,” he said.