by Isi Esene
The July 29th topic on Rubbin’ Minds was ‘How to do Urban: The challenge of urban development’. The programme was sequel to our previous topic which focused on the contentious Makoko eviction which was forcefully carried out by the Lagos State Government.
The panel of discussants which was made up of Tolu Sangosanya, Segun Giwa, Charles Onyibe, and Yomi Kuku spoke passionately about the issues of environment and urban development and gave practical solutions to engaging the problem.
Tolu fired the first salvo by declaring, “The most important thing is to build people that will run the nation.”
Segun Giwa spoke about the menace of traffic in the city of Lagos and wondered why something innovative has not been done to minimize congestion. He identified this as one of the major problems of urban development which needs to be tackled urgently.
Yomi Kuku in his own submission decried the half-hearted way Nigeria’s successive governments have chosen to tackle the challenge of urban development which he observed lacked conviction.
He said, “There is huge absence of collective national interest in this country.”
He continued saying, “You can not leave out commitment of 90% of resources to social development and think you’ll rest.”
All the panelists agreed that a lot needs to be done and admonished Nigerians to think inwards more often if we hope and expect to stand and be counted in the comity of nations.
They mentioned massive education and enlightenment as the ultimate solution to the problem of urban development hoping the government will display more commitment at tackling the hydra-headed national challenge.