ATOPCON, experts seek new model for partnerships
Determined to contribute towards the nation’s economic growth, the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) and experts have canvassed the development of a new business model among its folds.
They urged professionals to join the government in ensuring that socio-economic problems are overcome through the creation of firms that are strong and reliable.
Specifically, the experts emphasised that for partnership in the sector to work, people of different capabilities must be brought together to drive organisational needs while intentions and motives must be clear towards one another to support operational needs.
Leading the call at the association’s yearly general meeting in Lagos, Senior Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Knight Frank Nigeria, Frank Okosun, lamented that not so much interest has been seen towards partnerships by professionals due to personal and trust issues. He said life and businesses are easy if partnerships have an agreement on how to resolve trust issues that could arise.
“We may not be able to do so much as individuals firms. We must realise that building firms that are strong enough are essential. Benefits of partnerships include a greater pool of skills and expertise, lower tax, shared risks and rewards, a wider spectrum of products/specialisation, wider business reach and network. “
Okosun, who was represented by an associate partner, Mr. Tope Fasunloro, explained that partnership as a catalyst and model for business growth is not peculiar to Knight Frank with about 488 offices across the world and over N500 billion worth of real estate assets under management, adding that professionals should team up to create one of the biggest town planning firms in Nigeria and Africa.
He noted the importance of a governance structure that must include partnership deed, transparent accounting procedures, division of responsibilities, succession plan/path as well as partner selection, which should be based on competence, character, commitment and professional glue that binds a new partner to existing partners and team.
Addressing the forum, the President, Town Planning Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC), Isyaku Kura, said partnership for enterprise and corporate growth will continue to be a strong tool for the overall development of ATOPCON, other organisations and the country.
Represented by a former ATOPCON president, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, he said the regulator will continue to promote good conduct and wield the big stick against any firm or individual involved in an unethical act.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, observed that ‘sustainability of partnership as a business model for town planning firms in Nigeria’ is timely, stressing that it is evidence-based that the association has continued to grow in quantity and quality of its membership as capacities have continued to expand.
Salako, who was a past president of ATOPCON urged practitioners to ensure sustainable partnerships that will engender benefits for town planning consultants.
Speaking to the practitioners, ATOPCON President, Muyiwa Adelu, encouraged members to work together in addressing challenges and the development of the association.
Earlier, the president of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Toyin Ayinde, said the theme will develop an enduring professional practice as practitioners continue to face various challenges that are considered life-threatening for practices.
He advised ATOPCON to promote excellence in service delivery in the private sector.