Urban renewal in Nigeria needs to be done in a more holistic manner. It must cater to the needs of the people who are likely to be affected by the process, and get them involved in it from start to finish–before demolition–to avoid negative effects to them.
That was the recommendation of Paul Oluwatomipe Adekola of Covenant University; Dr. Abimbola A. Allen of Adekunle Ajasin University; and Dr. Femi R. Tinuola, also of Adekunle Ajasin University, in their study titled, “Socio-Economic and Health Implications of Urban Renewal on Internally Displaced Persons in Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria“.
While examining the socio-economic and health implications of urban renewal for residents of Ogun State, particularly in Abeokuta North and Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Areas, the researchers found out that urban renewal had a significant negative impact on the occupation, income and the health status of affected persons.
Urban renewal has always been undertaken to clean up and beautify a city in accordance with a prescribed new layout plan. Many unintended consequences, especially forceful evictions and internal displacement of persons however, usually accompany such exercises. This paper aims to examine the socio-economic and health implications of urban renewal for residents of Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria. In the last five years, massive urban renewal programs have been implemented in five local government areas (LGAs) in the State: Abeokuta North, Ado/Odo Ota, Sagamu, Yewa South and Ijebu Ode from which two (Abeokuta North and Ado-Odo/Ota) were purposively selected for this study.
Primary data was obtained through administration of questionnaires to 380 randomly selected affected adults with demolished houses or shops, and analysed using logistic regression. The results indicated that urban renewal had a significant negative impact on the occupation (odds ratio = 3.0; p < 0.01) and income (p < 0.01) of affected persons. Urban renewal had also significantly affected the health status of respondents because those whose houses or shops were demolished were 12 times more likely to suffer depression from loss of sleep (odds ratio= 12.08; p<0.01), loss of appetite (p<0.01) and feelings of hopelessness (p<0.01). It is therefore recommended that urban renewal in Nigeria should be more holistic (cater for the needs of people who are likely to be affected and get them involved from start to finish before demolition) to avoid these associated side effects. Photo of Abeokuta, Nigeria by Melvin Baker via Wikipedia.