Edo, NITP to partner on development plans
Edo State Government has pledged to work with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) to ensure orderly human settlements and sustainable development.
Governor Godwin Obaseki made the pledge when NITP President, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, led other members of his institute on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
Obaseki, who was elated by their visit and submission, urged them to assign a technical team to partner with the government in the preparation of development plans and master plans for cities, towns and villages.
“It’s a call to our development. If we don’t do it, we will not be able to go anywhere. I have sent the challenge back to you. We want to stop this whole issue of self-help; we are committed and have the mandate of our people.
“There are people, who have been more fortunate than us, including countries and communities; they have developed farther than us and we can begin to learn from them.
“If we are striving to be the best, it will be fair to learn from them. What we will do is work with people who have better technology for them to come and set up and work with our local engineers and train them on key capacity building.”
Earlier, Ayinde acknowledged the governor’s leadership qualities and noted his administration’s efforts to build critical physical and digital infrastructure as well as ensure a safe and secure environment that guarantees youth employment and empowerment.
NITP president said the institute is in the state to assess physical planning. He said: “Urban planning thrives only on good governance because it is the only government that has the capacity to achieve the nexus between physical planning and economic planning.
“Whenever or wherever there is a governance system failure, it is difficult to see the benefits of planning,” adding that the institute’s plan to work with the state government in realisation of the state’s development plan, regional and master plans.
Ayinde said that Edo State is one of those states yet to adopt the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law of 1992, which became an Act in 2004 (CAP 138 LFN), which prescribes that plans should be prepared from the national to state and local government levels.
“When we plan our towns and rural settlements and implement the plans, our cities, people, economy, security and every other facet of life will develop functionally and things usually turn out successful,” he said.
According to him, Edo had, at a time in the past, prepared some master plans, but these expired and have been overtaken by time and the subsequent growth in population.
“The state did not entirely benefit from those plans because of the weakness in implementing them. This failure in implementation could be tied to the lack of sustainable institutions to drive the available plans.
“Furthermore, physical development plans need to be passed into laws, democratised and made available for the ordinary citizen to possess a guide to development in their locality.
“This would help to make the citizens take ownership of the development of their immediate environment, limit infractions and save the government from embarrassing and unnecessary conflicts.”