Abeokuta is the largest urban centre and capital of Ogun State, located in the South West Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria. Ogun State lies to the north of Lagos State, to the west of Ondo State, and to the south of Oyo State and Osun State. Abeokuta is built in the centre of the Lagos-Ibadan extended urban region or conurbation, and forms part of the larger metropolitan economic area. This strategic location, matched with the presence of diverse local resources, rapid population growth and enhanced political status has generated dynamic economic activities. A few large-scale industrial establishments, as well as trade, personal services, finance and insurance services comprise the local economy. Abeokuta is also an agricultural trade centre and an exporting point for various commodities. The population of Abeokuta is growing rapidly, mainly due to natural causes, immigration and rural-to-urban migration. The population almost doubled from about 375,000 in 1991 (according to the population census) to over 700,000 in 2013. Due to rural-urban economic exchanges and part of the population residing outside the urban area, day and night population shifts require commuting between urban and rural areas of the state. Following its rapid urbanization, Abeokuta’s built-up area has exceeded the existing administrative and institutional boundaries. Although Ogun State is responsible for overall urban and physical planning, there are no specific institutional structures able to oversee governance and urban management for the metropolitan area of Greater Abeokuta. The identified projects for Abeokuta are: (i) an Urban Master Plan and Guidelines for Urban Renewal, and (ii) a Public Transport Policy
A lack of up-to-date urban planning frameworks has led to uncoordinated development in Abeokuta. The impact of this has demonstrated itself in urban sprawl and an increasing disconnect between land use and realised projects. The preparation and establishment of a new forward looking Master Plan for Abeokuta will allow for the definition of a strategic vision that, in the long term, could guide the city towards more sustainable urban development. The development of the Master Plan aims to contribute to a more cohesive urban fabric with improved connectivity and accessibility across the city. Across Abeokuta, 20 blighted areas have been identified, mainly within the older parts of the city. These areas are often home to traditional communities with ancestral cemeteries, lacking municipal services (such as water, sanitation, refuse collection and disposal, drainage facilities, street lighting, paved footpaths) and public facilities (such as schools and medical clinics). It is thus necessary to develop a set of tools - Guidelines for Urban Renewal - that provide input for the regeneration and improvement of these areas, creating a better living environment while preserving historic and heritage spaces in Abeokuta.
Abeokuta faces a number of challenges within the transport sector, for example, congestion, air pollution, limited choices of alternative transport options, long travel times and so forth. In particular, the public transport sector is underdeveloped, meaning that people are reliant on unregulated public transport options that are operated by private companies. To address this situation, the Ogun State Government has, over time, initiated various interventions in the public transport sector, like High Occupancy Vehicles for Mass Transit. However, most often these schemes have, for various reasons, either not been fully implemented or successful. To strengthen the mobility and public transport system, the proposed project comprises the preparation of a public transport policy for Abeokuta. The policy could eventually be scaled up and adopted for all of Ogun State. The Public Transport Policy will also support the Bureau of Transportation and the state government to make effective and well informed decisions within the mobility and transport sector, including allocation of resources, management capacities and regulatory frameworks.