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ATOPCON, NITP urge govts to review efforts on physical planning



Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) President, Dr. Femi Olomola

TOWARDS ensuring human settlements are well planned, members of the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) have advised all tiers of government – Federal, State and Local to review their efforts and concerns for physical planning.

They observed that the rate of socio-economic advancement of the country have been held down as a result of lackadaisical display to physical planning by policy makers.

The planners are seeking an overhaul of the nation’s physical development efforts as countries, which hinged their development strategies on sound physical planning principles tend to have faster economic growth than those that did otherwise

This position was also canvassed by the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) President, Dr. Femi Olomola, who said that the various aspects of the 1992 Urban and Regional Planning with regards to the functions of the Local Government Areas should be implemented by all concerned.    

ATOPCON outgoing president, Mr. Moses Ogunleye who spoke at its 2015 annual general meeting, pointed out that Nigeria has failed to appreciate the symbiotic relationship that exists between economic planning and physical planning.    “It has shown at the global level that countries which hinged their development strategies on sound physical planning principles tend to have faster economic growth than those that did otherwise,” he said.

Ogunleye urged the tiers of government to see physical planning as a tool for all shades of social and economic development. “The high incidences of crime, homelessness, chaotic traffic situation and abuse of natural resources like surface water, wetland and forest in our towns and cities are traceable to poor or weak physical planning.     “There is need for effective funding of physical planning matters by all tiers of government.

Besides, physical planning should be strengthened at the local government level, with some functions devolved to the councils, “ he said.

Similarly, Olomola disclosed that the proposed Land Use Planning and Analysis Report (LUPAR) will create not less than 5 million units of jobs annually nationwide.

As you know, the art, science and profession of town planning principally revolve around ensuring the orderly arrangement of the use of land within the context of absolute regard to overriding public interest.

The report will be exclusively prepared by registered town planners. It is planned to accompany applications for: building plan approval/permits; issuance of C of O’s; opening of corporate accounts with banks, incorporation/registration of new companies with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), insurance of buildings, and issuance of license by the Department of Petroleum Resources for the development of oil pipelines,” he added.

Olomola said: “We have, with Council approval, made it the theme of our Mandatory Compulsory Professional Development Programme (MCPDP) for 2015.

We assembled a team of experts who brainstormed to write papers and made presentations on the topic in our three Mandatory Compulsory Professional Development Programmes (MCPDP) held this year in Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Kaduna respectively.

With God on our side we shall launch model copies of this report in our 2015 Annual Conference/Annual General Meeting coming up in Ilorin, Kwara State in late October.”

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