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Project Case Study

Future-proofing Nigeria’s cities

Working in partnership with the state governments to provide the transport and services needed for the country's booming urban growth

Poor urban infrastructure is a major obstacle to Nigeria achieving the economic growth it requires to lift millions of its citizens from poverty. While cities in Nigeria are growing at a rate of 3.8% a year, their infrastructure is often incapable of supporting a large and growing population. This is as true with formal public transport schemes as it is with waste management and securing adequately serviced land for business. In addition to these problems is a lack of delegated authority to individual cities, with decisions being made at a state level, when cities often require a separate set of policies.

Project info

Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF)


  • 2009



  • Department for International Development (DFID)

NIAF provides technical assistance on a demand-driven basis. Funded by the Department for International Development since 2009, we have designed, staffed and delivered projects which provide technical knowledge and expertise in areas where there is a capacity deficit within the government organisations with whom we work in partnership.

NIAF has two discrete practices within Effective Cities. The Urban Transport practice concentrates on assisting cities who wish to institute mass transit systems. NIAF has contributed to the planning and development of bus mass transit systems in the Federal Capital Territory, Kano and Lagos, and is also supporting the Abuja Light Railway scheme, which is due to open in 2015.

The Urban Development component of Effective Cities concentrates on increasing the area of serviced land available in urban areas, as well as improving municipal service delivery in the areas of water supply, sanitation and solid waste management. It does this by working with state governments to establish city development authorities (CDOs) which are delegated authority to act swiftly in urban planning matters. NIAF then builds relationships with the CDOs, responding to requests for technical assistance which fall within the parameters of the programme’s aims. Urban Development currently provides assistance to the state governments of Kano, the Federal Capital Territory, Enugu and Kaduna.

NIAF won the British Expertise Development Project of the Year Award in 2011.

"We write to express our appreciation for the amount of work and the quality of support on the Private Sector Participation options Study for LAGBUS. It is imperative we recognise such professionalism in an area we consider extremely important to the future of transportation in the mega-city of Lagos."

Babatunde Disu, CEO, LAGBUS

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