- A Partnership Framework for Managing an Emerging Urban Region: The Bonny Experiment in Rivers State, Nigeria   click here to open paper content146 kb
by    Owei, Opuenebo | obo_owei@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The study examines the important role of the local communities and the organized private sector as represented by the Joint Industry Committee (JIC) in preparing a Master Plan to manage rapid growth in the Bonny City Region which is the location of Nigeria's deep sea port for the export of oil and gas and the location of the national natural gas company.
A Partnership Framework for Managing An Emerging Urban Region: The Bonny Experiment in Rivers State, Nigeria.

The Bonny Experiment was initiated by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the local community and the Joint Industry Committee (JIC) comprising of all the multinational oil and gas companies located in the area specifically, the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mobile Oil Company, and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company. The Bonny City Region, covering 420sq km is recognized as being of strategic importance to the national economy. The MOU included the preparation of a Master Plan to serve as a framework to guide development occasioned by the large sale inflow of capital into the region. Bonny has continued to witness growth pressures on its limited land resources. An additional investment of between $20 to $30 billion is still expected to be made. Regional growth management becomes an imperative. The Bonny experiment, where a community desires to take control of managing its urban growth by asking for a regional master plan and actively participating in its preparation, is a new phenomenon in the Nigerian context. Also significant is the role of the JIC in not only funding the project but in putting together the management team of professionals to supervise the process of plan preparation. Lessons from this experience constitute the kernel of discuss in this paper. First is the significant role of local communities and the JIC in actually driving the planning process. The community perspective was the need to satisfy legitimate growth objectives with minimum negative impact while for the JIC it was the recognition of the community as the authority that gives the ultimate license to operate. Secondly is the inability of government at all levels to participate in a multi stakeholder planning environment. Finally is how the challenges of determining the role of each of the stakeholders in plan implementation was handled.

The study represents a successful attempt to manage rapid urban growth using a partnership framework in Nigeria where planning is usually done by government without proper consultation. The lessons emerging from this project provides an alternative approach to the way planning has been done in the past.

JIC, local communities
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