Abeokuta is one of the two Nigerian Cities to undergo replanning under a scheme called, “Future Cities Nigeria.”
The scheme which is being funded by the United Kingdom, through a Commonwealth operation, has Lagos as the second lucky city marked for modernization in Africa
This was revealed to the Alake in Abeokuta today by the Director of Physical Planning for Urban Development; Town Planner Talabi Rufus
Town Planner Talabi, who led a delegation of about 20 professionals comprising ministry of physical and urban development, local and international based town planners and urban developers, told the Alake that the Future Cities Scheme was a very big and complex project that would need support and inputs of the Alake as the Paramount Traditional Ruler, other Egba traditional rulers, and the community as a whole in order to achieve the maximum success for the project.
He explained further that they were fully prepared to go into full implementation of the project on two angles; these are the Urban Renewal and Abeokuta Urban Transport Policy.
TPL Talabi said that Abeokuta and Lagos were chosen among the 19 Future City States all over the world because the Government of both cities were very cooperative and receptive to modern urbanization and advanced intra-city transportation system
He added that the first two years of work will show how Abeokuta will be in the next 15 years
The Alake of Egbaland in his response said that the Egbas as well as residents, businesses and indeed the Government of Ogun State could not wait for the implementation of the new Future Cities Scheme for Abeokuta which will take 15 years to be fully implemented
While pledging his total support and full cooperation, with the Ogun State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development alongside the UK sponsored Future Cities Nigeria, Oba Gbadebo noted that the stigma of slow physical and urban development for Abeokuta as State Capital would be a thing of the past
The Egba Paramount Ruler told the groups that Ogun State Government had gone some way in alleviating the job before them having carried out some urban renewal exercise in the Sate Capital
The Alake also enjoined operatives of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, to be professional by ensuring sanctions against infractions in erecting structures
The Egba Monarch said he was worried that new settlements like Ijeun Likosi, Laderin, Gbonogun; Obantoko Area, and others show pockets of slums in modern estates
In the group of the ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Town Planner Funmi Adegunle; Director of Urban Renewal, Town Planner Rufus Talabi, Mr Ajala, Mr Idris Adeyemi and Mr Olukayode Olopade
The Future Cities Nigeria members present included; Tpl. Lookman Oshodi, Tpl. Waheed Kadiri; Transport Policy Expert, Mr Federico Redin, Dr Nandini Dasgupta and Arch. Stephanie Edwards
Egba High Chiefs at the visit to Ake Palace included Aare Bobagunwa Victor Abiodun Adebayo, and Aare Baaroyin Layi Labode