Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reiterated the commitment of his administration to the upliftment of major towns in the state to the level of true urban cities which will serve as a catalyst to the economic growth of the state.
The Governor stated this in Osogbo while receiving the structure plan reports for the nine selected cities presented to him by the representatives of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT).
Ogbeni Aregbesola ,who was represented at the programme by the state deputy Governor, Mrs Grace Titilayo Laoye Tomori stated that his administration entered the collaborative agreement with the UN-HABITAT in 2012 because of his determination to reposition most of the major towns and cities in the state.
He expressed the readiness of his administration to get rid of shanties in the city centres especially in Osogbo the state capital as it is one of the surest ways of attracting investors into any environment.
While expressing appreciation to the Federal Ministry of Lands for their efforts in the upgrading of slumps in the state capital, the Governor pointed out that his government is determined to rehabilitate 2km radius of roads from the nine selected city centres which are mostly from the palace of the royal fathers.
Delivering the reports to the Deputy Governor, the team leader of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme, Mallam Kabir-Yari described city centres as places that are meant to attract investment, create wealth, enhance social development, and technical advancement hence the development of cities should be taken seriously.
He pointed out that if cities and urban areas will serve as instruments for economic growth and development, it depends on how well planned ,administered and managed while appealing for periodic revision and updating of the structure plans for the cities.
Earlier in a welcome address, the state Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Architect Olumuyiwa Ige appreciated Governor Rauf Aregbesola for showing total commitment to the Structure Plan Project.
He held that the Structure Plan Project is in line with the Six-Point Integral Action Plan of the present administration to Restore Healthy Living, Ensure Communal Peace and Progress among the citizenry of the State, as well as encourage rapid urban development.
He added that the project is a people oriented programme as people of the cities visited during the cities consultations welcomed the team with joy and excitement.
The commissioner assured the committee of a positive response from the state government emphasising that the structure plans report will also complement the Urban Renewal Programme already embarked upon by the administration of Aregbesola.
In attendance were the representative of the Federal Minister of Lands, Special Adviser to the Governor on Lands Matters, Dr Ayodele Owoade, Chairman ,House Committee on Lands ,Hon Johnson Ojo.
Others are: the Special Adviser to the Governor on Youths, Sports and Special Needs Comrade Biyi Odunlade, Head of Service, Mr Sunday Owoeye, Permanent Secretaries, Directors, UN-HABITAT Representatives among others.