By BOLUWAJI  OBAHOPO

LOKOJA — Kogi State Government had signed a $1.3 million Agreement of Cooperation with the United Nations-Habitat, focusing on structural plan and urban renewal scheme.

The agreement which was signed at the Government House, Lokoja by Prof. Oyebanji Oyeyinka, on behalf of UN-Habitat and the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, on behalf of the State Government follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed in August 2013 between Kogi State and UN-Habitat, in Addis Ababa.

According to the agreement, the funds provided will be used to support and develop City Structure Plans for selected cities in the State and strengthens the state’s on-goiing urban renewal programme.

It will also develop Urban Legislation and Urban Laws Programme, a collection of policies, laws, and practices that govern the management and development of the urban environment and citizens’ behavior.

Under the agreement, the UN agency will establish the Kogi State Urban Observatory, (a unique monitoring system developed by UN-Habitat) that builds indicator systems through data collection, analysis, monitoring and reporting on sustainable urbanization.

It will also developed an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan, a holistic, strategic and systematic approach to solid waste management based on the Waste Management Hierarchy Model.

As part of the deal, an early Warning System for Climate-related extreme events such as floods and droughts will also be developed and will also construct a model Public Spaces that focuses on bridging the urban divide and promoting socio-economic inclusiveness.

The State deputy governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, in his remark said: “This is a major event for Kogi State because the state believes that this effort marks a major paradigm shift in the way the cities and towns planned and operate. Proper urban planning is the most sustainable solution to the state flooding challenge.”.

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