By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Several factors among which are the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), population density and poor urban planning are affecting the implementation of COVID-19 response in Bauchi metropolis, resulting to a declaration freezing development in the metropolis.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Commissioner of Lands & Survey, Professor Adamu Ahmed, made available to newsmen on Sunday.
“Bauchi is one of the most densely populated and poorly planned cities in the Country which make implementation of COVID response protocols on social distancing and lock-downs difficult to enforce.
” The State also is a major destination of IDPs which has led to chaotic development,” he said.
He explained that in view of that, the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir signed an Executive bill on the amendment of the State Geographic Information System Law (2018) and related matters.
According to the statement, in view of that, the government is freezing development within a corridor 5km in width and 20 km in length for a period of not more than three months to allow the state prepare urban renewal scheme for the area.
“Second, it forbids illegal subdivision of land within the 25 km planning radius of Bauchi Metropolis; and third, allows for preparatory efforts for Systematic Land Title Registration.
“The Declaration is an important response to the Covid-19 Pandemic but also to promote sustainable urban development. An important component of it is the re-distribution of social services across the metropolis,” it explained.
It further said the Town Planners Registration Council and the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners were represented at the event.
“The State has an MoU with the UN-Habitat on Systematic Land Title Registration and Urban Planning. Agreement was signed in February at the sideline of the 10th World Urban Forum held in Abu Dhabi, UAE,” it concluded.