FG readies new masterplan for Ogbomoso, seeks funding partners, project to boost infrastructure, economy

Ogbomoso in Oyo state is to benefit from the federal government’s inter-city regeneration scheme being initiated across the country in a bid to improve the physical, economic, social and environmental vitality of cities.

Sites of location of facilities

The primary aim of the urban regeneration plan, according to the report by Messrs Delight Colours Limited, the consulting firm, which handled the Ogbomoso project on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMW&H), Abuja, “is to prepare detailed development plan to guide the inner-city regeneration activities of the city of Ogbomoso to provide a sustainable environment for living, socializing and achieving all the benefits that urban areas have to offer.”

Members of the stakeholders committee FMW&H and the consultant will engage (front row aside TPL Chinwe (third left) and vice chairman of Ogbomoso North local government, Hon Aremu Oritoke Omotayo (4th right) and others (back row)
Onpetu of Ijeru

Rationale for the scheme
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting Wednesday at Ogunlola Hall, Oja’gbo, Ogbomoso, project supervisor, FMW&H, TPL (Mrs.) Chinwe James, said the programme is part of the effort of the FMW&H to provide a working instrument for urban regeneration plan for older cities in the country as a means of motivating state governments to embark on urban renewal programmes.
“This diagnostic study is part of the efforts by the Urban and Regional Development (URD) of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to provide the background instruments for urban regeneration planning for relatively older Nigerian cities in order to encourage state governments’ renewal strategies that will facilitate implementation of action plans and programmes.”

TPL James adds, “Essentially, the goal of the stakeholders forum today is to provide a platform to engage stakeholders in offering critical contributions to this technical study. The event is expected to review the ‘draft final report’ submitted by the consultant (Messrs Delight Colours Limited) and adopt the preferred ‘concept plan’ for this consultancy agreement,” while noting, “I believe you will take this venture as a commendable effort of the present federal administration to bring governance to the grassroots. Without doubt, the project attests to the fact that this administration is committed to your welfare in many respects.”
His Royal Majesty, Oba Sunday Oladapo Oyediran, Lagbami III, Onpetu of Ijeru, in his address also heaped commendations on President Muhammadu Buhari for the project, noting it was a lofty project to upgrade urban slums in the city.
Oba Oyediran similarly said, “This policy like those of the administration is to make life worthy of living for our people. All of us here in this gathering knows the effect of slum and urban degeneration to human health and healthy living and need not be repeated here. Nonetheless, I will like to put inner city degeneration in Ogbomoso in a proper context. Doing this would help to find solutions to the problems as a way of implementing inner city regeneration policy of the federal governmentovernment in Ogbomoso.”

From left: Engr Ademola Odumakin (Director of Delight Colours Limited), Mrs Chinwe James, TPL Olojede and another stakeholder

Onpetu identified evidences of inner-city degeneration to include “building of houses without leaving the setbacks for expansion of the roads.
“Secondly, construction of houses on the river banks, building of houses to block the drainage.
“Thirdly, lack of dumping sites or provision of refuse disposal vehicles by the government led to dumping of refuse in the rivers, streams, uncompleted buildings, drainages, or anywhere available for such. Absence of soak-away in most of the buildings or compounds has led to a situation where used water flow out to the many roads causing a lot of damages to such roads.”
The traditional ruler conseq offered suggestions on inner-city regeneration of Ogbomoso.
These included, “establishment of satellite towns or upgrading our villages to satellite towns status, establishment of government reservation areas, empowering our town planning authorities to be more effective and proactive in discharging their functions, upgrading facilities in the inner city or the original settlements in Ogbomoso, and local government administration has to be given the deserved autonomy.”

Sordid situation
Personnel of Delight Colours Limited, which produced the template for the Ogbomoso inner-city regeneration also took the floor to present the outcomes of the technical study through power-point presentation.
The progress report or presentation by the consultant, was divided into three aspects i.e. background situation or inner-city regeneration plan, housing and environmental facilities, and alternative regeneration options.
Dr. Saheed Kamorudeen Ojolowo, who spoke on the background situation touched on many areas including giving a definition of cities and on the need for government to initiate improvement programmes towards rejuvenating our cities; aims; scope; methodology; satellite imagery of Ogbomoso; topography of the city; existing land use and land cover; population; occupation; and socio-economic characteristics of Ogbomoso.
He disclosed that via the spot imagery of the entire Ogbomoso, 63, 022 buildings with 17, 557 falling within the inner-city, were spotted just as he informed that the population of Ogbomoso had risen to 576, 557 from 299, 238 that was recorded in 2006 during the national population census on the basis of a growth rate of 3.2 percent.
Dr. Olaitan Olutayo Odunola who focused on housing facilities and other sundry issues painted a sordid picture about infrastructural facilities in Ogbomoso.
Dr Odunola therefore highlighted the needed facilities and infrastructures most of which are, according to a graph depicting the situation, classified as “very urgently needed.”
These included water, electricity, sanitation facilities, recreational facilities, public parking space and security.
Others are school, health facility, road maintenance and street light.
The report particularly noted that “electricity supply to the city of Ogbomoso has been erratic over the years due to overcrowding of existing power facilities.
“Ogbomoso, both North and South LGAs (as at the time of the survey in May 2021), receives 9-10 megawatts of electricity supply from Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN),” asserting “that power allocation to Ogbomoso is grossly inadequate.”
He also revealed that 90 percent of people living in the inner-city of Ogbomoso are willing to relocate if given the opportunity while the remaining 10 percent of people who responded to the question expressed willingness to remain.
However, Onpetu punctured this claim saying “in reality many of those who said they were willing to leave would not.”

Dr Odunola
Dr Kasim
Dr Ojolowo
A dilapidated building that needs upgrading

Ogbomoso regeneration plan: Recommendations
Dr. Oluwasina Ayomi Kasim rounded off the presentation by unveiling the three alternative regeneration options for the city.
Dr Kasim began by re-emphasizing the meaning of urban regeneration and how it’s different from urban renewal.
“Urban regeneration is not synonymous with urban renewal and total clearance of the run-down areas of the city.
“Therefore, there is no need for extensive spatial re-design of the project area.
“Regeneration involves fixing the run-down areas and rejuvenating them to make them function optimally in the urban fabrics.
“It involves stimulating the intrinsic growth propulsive features of the areas to make them function sustainably. It is also a way to reorganise and upgrade existing places rather than planning new urbanization.”

Recommended new structures
Engr. Akande Ogunribido, a member of the Delight Colours Limited team

The proposed regeneration strategy options for Ogbomoso therefore are accessibility priority, livelihood priority and integrated regeneration options.
The first option he said would involve integration of land use with transportation to increase connectivity and ease access to and from sites, noting “this will stimulate improved economic development that will enhance the standard of living of residents.”
The second one, livelihood priority option ‘”focuses on making the inner city safe, secure, functional and productive, while the policy thrust is to achieve poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Micro and Small Scale Enterprises Centers are created at strategic locations to improve income and livelihood, thereby stimulating overall economic development of the inner-city.”
The third option, integrated generation option will “address the multi-faceted challenges of the inner-city of Ogbomoso.
”This will integrate the various facets of: accessibility, livelihood, environment sustainability; and urban good governance.”
He further submitted that selection of the option to be adopted would depend on the community through a stakeholders committee that would be constituted at the programme while unfolding areas of proposed interventions, which would be in three phases (first phase – 1st 3 years, second phase – 1st 3 years + 5 years and the third phase – continual implementation).
The proposed interventions for the regeneration scheme with some of the hotspots include asphaltic paving of Bolanta/Salem Baptist Church street, paving of pathway at Alaasa/Isale-Ora, water supply intervention (via solar powered boreholes, resuscitation of existing boreholes, rehabilitation of water projects), waste disposal and management (for solid waste disposal, building of communal toilet facilities), rehabilitation and upgrading of buildings while those beyond rehabilitations are to give way to one-bedroom and two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, streams/rivers channelization (about 12kms), improved electricity power supply (calling on the Federal Ministry of Power to complete the 132/33kv power substation in Ogbomoso aside repair of damaged smaller substations and distribution of transformers.
Dr Kasim meanwhile emphasized that the federal government alone cannot fund project and so enlightened the gathering on those that can assist in actualizing the scheme.
The bodies, he said could assist in the implementation of the proposed interventions are the federal government, state government, local government, non-governmental organizations, communities, foreign and local donor agencies and international organizations (like World Bank, World Health Organization, UNICEF etc).
Calling on Ogbomoso people to rally for the actualization of the inter-city regeneration proposal, using their influence in governments and elsewhere, he affirmed that “urban regeneration has become the major component of urban policy in many countries.”
He also noted, “This special intervention by the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, is a technical support to Oyo State to improve and rejuvenate the inner-cities of the state for sustainable development.”

And existing road and what it will look like if the proposal is implemented

In a chat with newsmen, Mrs. Chinwe pointed out that the firm that carried out the studies employed survey plans, administed questionnaires and used group discussions to collate data to produce an interim report.
She continued, “they came up with data, they even collected imagery of Ogbomoso, knowing what is on ground, what is existing, they now analyzed the data they collected, they interpreted the data and came up with what we call draft final and that draft final is what they brought to discuss with the grassroots, the people concerned, that is why we call it stakeholders meeting, the people that are relevant in the community, that those things are to be effected for, and that is why we came to discuss what they have seen in the field work, is it actually what the people concerned want? And that is what we just did.”
She added, ”If this thing is implemented, (though cannot be done by the federal government alone), because it is an assisted project, assisted study for Ogbomoso people, the two local governments in Ogbomoso metropolis can pick up the project to implement, the state government can pick it up, NGOs can pick it up, the people in diaspora, professional bodies, the UN, international donors and agencies can help out and Ogbomoso will be well planned, livable and sustainable and it will be among the inclusive cities.”
The FMW&H supervisor disclosed that similar exercises had been carried out in other cities inluding Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state.
Also in an interview with reporters, Engr. Odumakin reiterated that the project was to remodel Ogbomoso so as to make it look better, while appealing for various bodies to come in “to assist the dwellers of Ogbomoso to make the city a livable place, to be able to compete with other cities in the world.
“Like the team suggested, it is the preparation of inner-city regeneration plan and implementation, remodeling Ogbomoso and bringing her to limelight to compete with other cities. And we have gone to interview people to know what they really want and that is what is in our report.”
Asked if the execution of the plan would involve pulling down of old houses, he said, “We have not suggested pulling down of old houses, which also has cost effect, from what we showcased there is nowhere we recommended that the existing structures should be pulled down, we have only recommended how to upgrade the existing infrastructures that are on ground. It is like making Ogbomoso to become new, we recommend based on our findings, what can be done to make Ogbomoso better than what it is now.”
A committee of six of Ogbomoso persons was subsequently chosen to constitute the stakeholders/monitoring team for the project, and it was noted that a final report would be produced after engagements with the stakeholders committee.
Dignitaries at the epoch-making event included the supervisor of the project in the FMW&H, TPL (Mrs.) Chinwe James and other staff of the ministry; Engr. Ademola Odumakin the Director of Delight Colours Limited and other staffers of the consulting company; representative of the Oyo state commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources, Engr. Adedokun Adekunle Ganiyu and the vice chairman of Ogbomoso North local government, Hon. Alhaji Aremu Oritoke Omotayo.
Some others are Onpetu of Ijeru kingdom, Oba Sunday Oyediran; Baale Ijeru, High Chief Elijah Popoola; chairman, Egbe Omo Ogbomoso Parapo Agbaaye (home branch), Alhaji Saka Bello Aremole; and Mr. Femi Oladipo who represented Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao and other community and opinion leaders.
Heads of security agencies were also at the occasion including the Oyo state Commissioner for Police, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko represented by ACP Oyeniyi Yemi John, the Area Commander, Ogbomoso Area Command headquarters.

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