Nigeria’s biggest urbanisation conference for fifty years was held on 12th and 13th March 2018 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja. Our School Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr Adegbola Ojo was invited to speak at the Urbanisation Research Nigeria (URN) Conference themed around how Nigeria can benefit from urbanisation.
Dr Ojo’s talk focused on urban crime in Nigeria. His presentation exposed contemporary patterns, trends, drivers, costs and a range of strategic and operational policy responses to the urban crime challenge across multiple cities.
Nigeria’s estimated current population of 180 to 200 million is Africa’s highest. The urban population surpassed the number of people living in rural areas in 2010. By 2050, it is projected that more than 70 percent of the country’s population would be characterised as urban. Urbanisation is therefore a significant issue for decision-makers across Nigeria.
Over the last five years, Dr Ojo has been leading a number of projects within the URN research programme as well as working collaboratively with other scholars. The URN is a research programme (2013 – 2018) supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by a consortium of global experts led by ICF’s International Development Division in London. The URN programme uses four themes to deliver research:
- Urban Change Processes – developing a better understanding of the urbanisation process
- Urban Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Livelihoods – examining Nigeria’s urban economies and the opportunities they provide
- Well-being of Urban Citizens – exploring the material, relational and subjective dimensions of well-being
- Urban Land, Planning and Governance – uncovering the process of urban development based on land resources
- ICF International, London – Programme Lead
- Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
- Benue State University, Makurdi
- The Foundation for Development and Environmental Initiatives, Ibadan
- Federal University of Technology, Minna
- University of Calabar
- University of Nigeria, Nsukka
- Kogi State University, Anyigba
- CLEEN Foundation, Abuja
- The Development Planning Unit, University College London
- University of the West of England, Bristol
- University of Ibadan
- University of Lagos
- School of Geography, University of Lincoln
- University of Miami
- Michigan State University
- The Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster
- University of Sheffield
- University of Pretoria
- Wits University, Johannesburg
The URN programme is designed to produce work that is both academically rigorous and highly relevant to urban policy and practice. The building of urban research capacity in Nigeria has also emerged as an important accomplishment of the programme. The country has a long-run and formerly world-renowned tradition of urban sector research. However, human and financial resource constraints have resulted in a reduction of research capacity. Urban challenges are increasingly of great significance for Nigeria. URN aims at assisting the reinvigoration of the research tradition and urban studies.