FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE URBAN AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
1.0 The Federal Ministry Works and Housing operates along two (2) Sectors namely Works Sector and Housing Sector. The Housing Sector of the Ministry stands on a tripartite mandate comprising: (i) easy access to land; (ii) provision of affordable housing and (iii) promotion of sustainable urban development. The Urban and Regional Development Department, which is one of the professional departments in the housing sector of the Ministry, is primarily concerned with issues of promotion of sustainable development ofthe urban areas and the regions of the country. It is saddled with the responsibility of formulation, promotion and implementation of policies, programmes and projects that engender sustainable human settlements development in Nigeria.
Formulation, promotion, Implementation of Policies and continuous review of Programmes and Projects on Sustainable Human Settlements Development in the Country.
The broad functions of the Department include the following:
i. Preparation of National Physical Development Plan for towns across the country to complement economic plans for sustainability and growth of the nation;
ii. Grant Development Permit, Monitoring and control of development on federal government lands and estates;
iii. Implementation of Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Programme across the country;
iv. Design of Federal Government Layout Scheme and other Programmes (National Housing Programme, National Site and Services, Low Cost Housing etc)
v. Collaboration with international Organizations/Agencies such as the World Bank, Shelter Afrique, UN – Habitat, Cities Alliance, FOHMADU (AMCHUD) and other International development partners on housing and human settlements issues.
vi. Preparation, formulation and review of National Urban & Regional Development Policy;
vii. Formulation and establishment of National Physical Planning Standards;
viii. Formulation and establishment of standardized urban traffic/transport planning and management for Nigerian cities; and,
ix. Conduct of Urban Information System Studies in Nigerian cities;
The broad functions of the Department are carried out through its five (5) directorates which operate from the headquarters. The Zonal Town Planning Officers in URD Sections at the Field Headquarters Offices offer complementary support. The specific functions of the Directorates are as stated below:
1.2.1 Regional Development Directorate.
This Directorate undertakes the formulation, implementation and review of National Physical Development Plan, Strategic Regional Development Plans and other Development Plans across the country. Its specific functions include:
a) Formulation, Evaluation and Monitoring of Federal Government Policies and Programmes on regional development in Nigeria;
b) Preparation of National Physical Development Plan for Nigeria;
c) Collaboration with the States in preparation and implementation of Strategic Regional Development Plans for the six geo-political zones;
d) Collaboration with MDAs on implementation of the physical development components of ERGP document and the National Integrated Infrastructural Master Plan;
e) Preparation and implementation of Policies and Programmes on Community and Rural Development;
f) Preparation of Resilience report/plan for major urban centres in the country; and,
Organization of Conference of Directors and Heads of Town Planning Organizations in Nigeria
1.2.2 Urban Development Directorate.
The Directorate deals with the issues of National Planning Standards, Urban Information Management System as well as preparation of layout plans for projects such as National Housing Programme, Prototype Housing Scheme, PPP Housing Programme, Site and Services Scheme etc. The specific functions of the Directorate include:
a) Formulation and continuous review of National Planning Standards for Urban Development and Management;
b) Preparation, continuous review and coordination of implementation of National Urban Development Policy;
c) Determination of land uses and site selection for Housing and other projects of the Federal Government;
d) Preparation of layout plans for projects such as Prototype Housing, National Housing Programme, Public Private Partnership Programme, Sites and Services Programme etc.;
e) Implementation and Management of National Urban Observatory (NUO);
Urban Prioritization/Investment studies on urban Infrastructure i.e. Needs Assessment Studies; and collection and processing of Urban Sector Data.
1.2.3 Urban Sector Multi-Lateral Programmes (USMP) Directorate
This Directorate operates through three branches, namely:
(i) Urban Sector Multilateral Programmes;
(ii) Partnership, Advocacy and External relations; and
(iii) Multilateral Agreements and Loans.
The USMP Directorate interfaces with international and multinational Partners in the implementation of specialized partnership Programmes and Projects in the urban sector, as well as coordinates activities for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria. The Directorate represents the Ministry in the execution of international covenants and agreement with international development Partners on promoting sustainable, inclusive, safe and resilient cities and human settlements in the Country. The USMP Directorate undertakes the following major activities:
(i) Coordination of Urban Sector Multilateral Partnerships Programmes in Nigeria, in respect of the following Programmes:
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
Shelter Afrique, Cities Alliance, UCLGA, etc
World Habitat Day/World Cities Day commemoration
World Urban Forum (WUF)
Implementation of the NUA and Urban SDGs in Nigeria
(ii) Regular liaison with UN-Habitat, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Africa Development Bank (AfDB), World Bank, Cities Alliance and urban related multilateral organizations in the implementation of urban sector intervention Programmes in Nigeria; and
(iii) Negotiation, Preparation and Monitoring of Memorandums of Understanding on Urban Sector Development Programmes with Development Partners.
1.2.4 Development Control Directorate
This Directorate is in charge of monitoring and control of physical development on Federal lands and estates across the country. The goal of development control is to ensure orderly and planned developments through the preservation, monitoring and control of development in line with the approved physical plans and layout standards. The Directorate is specially charged with the following:
a) Control and monitoring of all physical development on Federal Government lands;
b) Management and development control of all physical development on all Federal Estates, i.e. Shagari Low Cost Housing Estates; National Site and Services Schemes; Prototype and Public Private Partnership Programmes (PPP) nationwide;
c) Preparation and continuous review of development guidelines and standards for the control and monitoring of development nationwide;
d) Collaboration with relevant bodies on planning of physical development proposals of national interest nationwide;
e) Enforcement of planning standards on Federal Government lands and estates nationwide;
f) Processing of new development proposals on Federal Government lands;
g) Preparation of technical reports, generation of planning orders and approval of physical development proposals of national interest;
h) Liaison with Prototype Housing Committee, Public Private Partnership Programme, etc., for control and enforcement of planning standards for sustainable housing development as it relates to it functions;
i) Coordination and preparation of guidelines on National Site and Services Programmes nationwide; and,
j) Issuance of operational guidelines on Right of Way and Corridors of Federal Roads.
1.2.5 Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Directorate
The Directorate is responsible for implementing FMWH’s Programme for Urban Renewal & Slum Upgrading in Nigeria. The programme combines the setting up of a sound policy basis for intervention with execution of selected model projects/ schemes to prompt lower levels of government and other stakeholders to also invest in the task of upgrading slums. The URSU programme broadly entails:
i. Creation of an Information Platform for Managing the Slum Challenge at the National Scale which involves the preparation of diagnostic studies, technical reports and other specialized surveys across the geo-political zones in Nigeria;
ii. Domesticating Global Initiatives for Managing Slums which encompasses the application of regional and global Agendas strategies such as New Urban Agenda (NUA), Agenda 2063 of the African Union and best practices such as Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) to manage slum challenges in Nigeria;
iii. Promotion of the Challenge of Slums to Garner Collective and Coordinated Action from all Stakeholders through workshops, conferences and summits to canvass the necessity for a National Slum Upgrading & Prevention Strategy,’
iv. Implementation of Model Slum Renewal Projects as Federal Government Assistance to States with focus on the compact list of identified priority needs revolving around vehicular access, potable water and electricity.
In specific terms, the URSU undertakes the following activities:
a) Formulation, preparation and implementation of policies and programmes on slum upgrading and urban renewal (inner-city regeneration/core areas of towns and cities, urban sprawls, squatters’ settlements);
b) Conduct of technical/needs assessment studies and mapping of slum areas nationwide;
c) Preparation of action plans and redevelopment plans for urban renewals and slum upgrading;
d) Partnering with SDGs Units on implementation of SDGs projects nationwide;
e) Facilitation of civic engagement and citizen participation in Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading;
f) Organization of public enlightenment programmes and stakeholders’ fora on slum upgrading and urban renewal;
g) Research and Data collection on Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading programmes and projects;
h) Preparation of Planning Reports and Feasibility Studies on Slums Upgrading and Urban Renewal projects and schemes;
i) Planning and Redevelopment of areas of derelict sites, mine spoils and oil spillage areas;
j) Planning and redevelopment of historic sites and areas of national interests for recreational purposes;
k) Planning, development and management of open spaces in Federal Government Estates nationwide;
l) Liaison with MDAs and State Governments/FCT on issues of urban renewal, slum upgrading, reclamation/development of derelict and historic sites as well as the use and management of open spaces in Federal Government Estates.
The Department is structured into five directorates with the Head of Department having overall coordination of the activities of the Department. The directorates are:
i. Regional Development Directorate;
ii. Urban Development Directorate;
iii. Urban Sector Multilateral Programmes Directorate;
iv. Development Control Directorate; and
v. Urban Renewal and Slum Upgrading Directorate.
The different directorates equally coordinate the divisions, branches and sections under them. It is also important to note that the Department has its presence in the Zonal Town Planning Offices of the 36 States Field Headquarters of the Ministry across the federation as well as in the FCT. It may be noted that apart from the Central URD Coordinating Office in Lagos, there are six (6) additional Field Offices within Lagos State territory.
Each Directorate of URD Department is headed by a Directorate level officer, all of whom are answerable to the Head of Department. Also, each head of directorate is supported by an array of professional, technical and administrative staffs.
2.2 STAFF STRENGTH
URD Department has staff strength of 299 officers and this is made up of 218 professional and 81 technical staff that is spread among the five Directorates and the 43 Zonal Town Planning Offices.