Niger State, Nigeria, 14 October 2021- Urban managers and service providers in the Niger State can hereon better understand growth pathways and infrastructure needs in different parts of the state, courtesy of a Geographic Information System (GIS) training organised by UN-Habitat.
The knowledge gained from the three-day training will equip planners and managers to prepare land use plan for the orderly and aesthetically balanced urban and territorial development, and improved resource use in Niger State.
The training is in line with UN-Habitat’s mandate of helping cities and countries across the world to implement the New Urban Agenda, with the overall aim of mitigating carbon emissions and fighting climate change.
The skills learned in the GIS gathering will have real-life benefits for over five million Nigerians in 204 towns and urban centres in Niger State.
“Presently our service only covers 50 per cent of the urban areas; however, the skills and knowledge garnered will improve the service delivery of the Niger State Water and Sewerage Corporation in the areas of water distribution and coverage, forecasting, planning and development of sewage infrastructure in the state,” said Abdulrahman Aminu, Planning Research and Statistics Officer at the Corporation.
In his opening remarks, Moukhtar Nasale, Commissioner of the Niger State Ministry of Lands and Housing, said the GIS training was an important element of the capacity building and ongoing implementation of the Niger State Urban Support Programme, which has received technical assistance from UN-Habitat.
“This training is a unique opportunity for inter-ministerial collaboration in the aspect of effective planning and implementation of transformative projects, improved service delivery at different state and local government levels, as well as effective collection and management data for evidence-based decision making to address urban and territorial challenges across Niger State,” he said.
Participants said they had developed know-how on the GIS tool, acquired fundamental knowledge on the application of GIS for data management and improved service delivery for sustainable urban development and management.
“The knowledge acquired at the training will enable the government to better understand growth pathways and infrastructure needs in different parts of the state, prepare land use plan for orderly and aesthetically balanced urban and territorial development, and improved resource use,” said Nagidi Bala, Registration Officer at Niger State Urban Development Board.
Zaynab Kasim, a senior officer at the Niger State Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources, also stated that the skills acquired during the training will enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources in managing ecological resources and solid waste effectively and mitigating disaster risks in the state.
At the end of the three-day training session, Nasale launched the Niger State Urban– Rural Observatory platform (https://www.nsuro.org/). The platform was developed with the technical support of UN-Habitat to build the capacity of the institutions in Niger State for equitable and democratic urban and rural governance, strengthen the integration, harmonization, and exchange of information for evidenced based decision making.
Participants in the GIS training were drawn from eight Local Government Areas as well as Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Niger State Government.