by Chukwuma Uloma Chiammaka
(Minna, Niger State)

Abuja, the contemporary city. A place where all want the share of the international cake. A place that has drawn people of different ethnic groups to come and be one. A city to be proud of. But have we ever paused to ask; how can we make use of what we have to make our economy better? Recently, from a research, it was noted that 3 million people troop into Abuja in 1 million vehicles on a daily basis not for any cause than to earn a living. Now most of this people constitute the urban informal labour force that to a great extent affects the smooth management and flow of the city. They have their demerits but most of the time we forget to appreciate their services for human survival. Instead of making new and inflexible policies to guide the development of our urban areas, we asked our selves of how to devise policies that are more flexible and accommodating for both the rich and the urban poor that in most urban centers in Nigeria accounts for 70% of the urban population. Most of what we see as development is the construction of new structures and heavy investment in infrastructure but we tend to forget that in development, the human attribute matters a lot. If the humans cant be adequately managed, then there will always be a problem of mis-management of those facilities provided. Mainstreaming as an instrument of urban development answers such questions and gives us better ways to manage the growth and survival of the population in our urban areas.

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