Kwara creates satellite towns to address increasing population

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

Kwara State Government has created nine satellite towns in Ilorin, the state capital, to address expected population increase in the metropolis in the next 20 years.

Speaking at the launching of the Ilorin City Masterplan 2042 and the unveiling of the Ilorin Smart City twin projects on Wednesday, Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq said the project was an attempt to add another cornerstone to the foundation laid over 48 years ago by the founding fathers of Kwara State, who, according to him, designed the first Masterplan for Ilorin.

The satellite cities are located at Ganmo, Agbabiaka, Oke Oyi, Oke Ose, Eiyenkorin, Oko Olowo, among others, in the Ilorin South, Ilorin East and Asa local government areas.

Governor AbdulRazaq said the first phase of the project would cover 11,000 hectares with an estimated N1.72trillion funding requirements from public private investments between now (2024) and 2027.

“Designed to host 540,000 residents, the Smart City is a nine residential district city that is built in compliance with the United Nations prescriptions for urban living. Comprising a business district, an enterprise zone, industrial park, and three commercial districts, among others, the city spans 20,000 hectares and features 15 per cent green space provisioning and 50 square metres of green space per individual.

“As at this morning, the United Nations World Population Prospects put Ilorin as the third most populous metro area in the entire northern Nigeria, preceded only by Kaduna and Kano in the ascending order. Ilorin, according to this data, has had a population growth rate of between 2.53 per cent in 2020 and 3.3 per cent in 2024”, he said.

Governor AbdulRazaq, who said that the statistics above are not just mere figures, added that “they have dire consequences for how we live and survive. Population growth has far-reaching social consequences in the area of infrastructural risk, health risk, and security risks, among others. We are damned if we do not plan for it”.

He described the projects as solid foundation for a future of sustainable living for the people of Kwara State, saying: ” This is not so
much about etching a foundation for the sake of it. This is about making our capital city habitable, compliant with the rules that govern urban planning in the age of climate crisis, and bequeathing a legacy for those coming after us.

“As leaders, we have a duty to address the challenges of now and plan for the realities of tomorrow. This is the reason for the Ilorin City Master Plan, which has, in turn, given birth to the Ilorin Smart City, both of which we are officially launching today.

“While the Ilorin City Master Plan has been designed to guide how we live sustainably for the next 40 years, the Smart City is our innovative response to the multidimensional challenges of urban living that now confront Ilorin, including congestion and the associated pressures it brings on the existing infrastructure.

“But we cannot do this alone. This is therefore planned to run on the back of public private partnership (PPP). We invite private investors who would put our people at the centre of their engagement with us, ensuring that the Ilorin Smart City is built using the blueprint of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Environmental Social Governance (ESG) framework.”


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