Nigeria’s capital Abuja ‘is fast turning into slum’ like Lagos: Surveyor-general

Abdulganiyu Adebomehin, the surveyor-general of the federation, says Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, is fast turning into a slum.

He stated this at a meeting of stakeholders organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Urban Development and Regional Planning in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Abuja is fast turning into a slum, and you may need to talk to those in charge. If we are losing it so fast in Lagos, Abuja should not be allowed to toe that path,’’ said Mr Adebomehin.

Lagos has been described as a “city of extremes.”

“On one end is Eko Atlantic, a multibillion-dollar luxury island being reclaimed from the sea. It’s not done yet, but developers claim it will be Africa’s Dubai,” said Roopa Gogineni in The World. “On the other end is Orisunbare, one of hundreds of informal settlements in the city. It too is located on reclaimed land. But unlike Eko Atlantic, which is built upon layers of rock and sand, Orisunbare sits on compacted trash.”

Mr Adebomehin told Nigeria’s lawmakers that the ugly trend of Abuja ending up like Lagos must be addressed, calling for a proper solution to correct the anomaly. 

He said many individuals often refused to obey the law in Abuja.

‘’When we go outside the country, you see us obeying the rules just to run away from fines, but as soon as we return, we disobey them with reckless abandonment. We have to look at the issue of compliance; who are those in charge of compliance,’’ added the surveyor-general.

Awaji-Inombek Abiante, the committee chairman, said that Nigeria must plan to ensure adequate infrastructure to meet rapid urbanisation.

‘’This is about the vast opportunities that Nigerian cities have for accelerated national transformation through the building of integrated and productive communities,” Mr Abiante explained. “We cannot maximise the opportunities for sustained transformation in our cities if the fundamentals are not addressed.”

The lawmaker said the urban poor and vulnerable groups in the cities required more care and attention, especially in providing affordable housing.

He said this included social amenities for improved quality of life.