Communiqué From Concerned Slum Dwellers In Lagos

By Akinmola Ade

Communique of meeting of Coalition of Civil society Organisations (CoCSOs) in support of Slums Redevelopment&Rehabilitation in Lagos state held on Friday 2nd August 2013 at Ojodu Pry School,Lagos.

The meeting of coalition of 20 Civil Society groups which has been supporting the improvement in living standards and development of the people of slum areas in Agege,ilaje, Makoko,,Badia,Amukoko, Ajegunle,Iwaya met under the auspices of The Centre for Public Opinion Monitoring &Research .

The meeting which commenced at 4.00 pm opened with prayer by Mr Kamoru Anifalaje representing Iwaya Youth Forum.Hon Adebanji Chairman gave goodwill message on behalf of CENPOM and Conscience Nigeria which is collaborating on the advocacy programme.

The meeting was briefed of the continuous suffering of some of the residents whose houses were demolished recently by the Lagos state government as a result of on- going flood control projects.However happily,the Government of Lagos state began enumeration of affected persons for purpose of resettlement and compensation since 15 July 2013.

Also, there was concern that the projects embarked upon by the Lagos state Metroplitan Development& Governance Projects LMDGP have slowed down in some of the Areas.There was some good results from Agege,Iwaya Makoko areas but the others civil society groups from Amukoko,Badia ,Makoko and Ilaje,complained that some of the projects like schools, Boreholes and roads have slowed down and may be abandoned.That when some leaders and youths visited officials of the LMDGP, there was the usual bureaucratic language of following due process.

It was revealed that efforts made to reach Commissioner for Planning in Alausa,Lagos did not yield fruitful result.

Information was received that the World Bank Country Director was planning to withdraw funding of the remaining part of the $200million (N3.2 billion) earmarked to upgrade the low level of the human,social and infrastructural base of the communities and that the Lagos state Government was struggling to get it released and extended to complete the projects.Fears were expressed on the collaboration of top officials of the Lagos state Ministry of Planning with the Workd Bank officials to divert the funds to another project.Luckily the Fed Ministry of Finance is not in support of the withdrawal as the informant briefed the meeting.

After exhaustive deliberation of all the Issues, the participants at the meeting resolved as follows:

-That the meeting commended the decision of the Lagos state government to commence enumeration of the areas affected by the .This is evidence of a listening Government worthy of emulation. We call on Governor Fashola to expedite action on the resettlement plan and compensation of the thousands of people involved.

-That the State government and the funding agency -The World Bank should re-invigorate the capacity of the Management of LMDGP and release funds to complete on going projects in all the areas affected.The Management should be called upon to carry out sensitization of the people of the area of the situation of things so as to remove anxiety and fears of the people on the rumored cancellation of the projects.

-The CSOs condemned any attempt by the World Bank to withdraw funding of the project as it will cause more hardship to the people.

While acknowledging the role of the bank in supporting the resettlement of the people affected by demolitions carried out by the Government, the meeting said it would be counter productive for the World Bank to suspend the project and put the people in more distress.Rather,the Bank should extend the project and strenghten its monitoring mechanism to ensure effective implementation.

-The Cso's agreed to Petition and hold advocacy visits to the Speaker House of Assembly,The Legislators at Lagos and National Assembly, The Governor of Lagos state, the Coordinating Minister of Finance,the World Bank and the UN organisations like HABITAT,to protest the reported move to cancel or withdraw the funding of the LMDGP.The committee of coordinating CSOs are to mobilize all members in Lagos and Abuja to submit the petitions and organize protest to ensure that the funding is not withdrawn .

Signed for the Conveners
Hon Charles Segun Adebanji Afeez Abiodun

CENPOM S W coordinator. Lagos State Coordinator