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Lagos NITP charged on professionalism as new executives assume duty

By Emmanuel Badejo
23 March 2015   |   4:02 am
With professionalism on their minds, town planning in Nigeria and particularly, in Lagos State will fair much better in its numerous roles of creating livable cities and sustainable environment


THIRTEEN newly inaugurated executive members of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Lagos State Chapter have been urged to follow the path of professionalism in carrying out their official engagements and responsibilities, even as town planning has been described as a profession that has the potency to recreate the state landmass.

At the investiture ceremony of the 14th state chairman and the inauguration of the state chapter executive at the weekend in Lagos, the new exco’ members were urged not to allow the act and art of professionalism to dwindle.

The event, which was held within the Oranmiyan Hall of the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, had in attendance dignitaries within and outside the field of town planning.

Leading the new officers, thirty-one years after the birth of NITP, Lagos Chapter, are: Mr. Anifowoshe Abiola, Chairman; Mr. Salami Adekunle, Vice-Chairman; Mr. Elegbede Razaq, General Secretary, who would be assisted by Mrs. Olayinka-Bello Bola. While Mrs. Solademi-Taiwo Enitan is the Treasurer, Mrs. Alugbin Bunmi was sworn in as the Financial Secretary, as Mr. Roy-Layinde Hakeem is holding the post of the Publicity Secretary, who would be by Mr. Olawale David. Also on the team, are Mrs. Aka Folake, Auditor; immediate past Chairman, Mr. Ayo Adediran, Ex-Officio 1, Mr. Omotayo Awomosu, Ex-Officio II, Mrs. R.B. Bello, Ex Officio III and Mr. Daisi Oso serving the institute as Ex Officio IV.

Charging the officials, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde said one, they could distinguish themselves and the profession of town planning was to work towards lifting the bar of professionalism.

“I want the new executive members to enthrone and maintain professionalism. Nigeria has gotten to a level now where professionalism is being downplayed and for the nation to make the desired progress, we have to raise the stakes of professionalism.

If we as professionals join the bandwagon of deviating from the ethos and principles of professionalism, then the profession would be worst hit and the impact would be greater on both the practitioners and the country at large. What I therefore would be expecting from the new executive members is to pursue the path of professionalism”, he said.

According to him, with passion the newly unveiled executive could make significant progress in the state and the profession at large. “I also expect that the officers develop passion for their work because, where there is passion, they would do their work without being monitored.”

President, NITP, Dr. Femi Olomola, said he was hopeful that with the new executive, town planner in Lagos and by extension at the federal level would make noticeable impacts in the polity, adding he was open to suggestions from the state chapter on his drive to taking town profession to the next level.

President, Building Collapsed Prevention Guide and 3rd Vice President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Kunle Awobodu said there was greater need for stronger synergy between the nation’s registered builders and town planners. He therefore solicited for more cooperation from the town planners.

“Without town planners, builders cannot make much achievement on site. So many collapsed building cases have no doubt brought embarrassment to us as built sector professionals. Therefore, we solicit for the cooperate of town planners to restore confidence into our built environment.”

Action Progressive Congress (APC), Gubernatorial Candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, said if elected as the next governor of the state, he would use his office to aid town planning. “Town planning is not about structures alone; it is about efficient use of resources and land towards having functional cities in Lagos State.”

He was of the view that the present number of town planners in Lagos was small, when compared with town planning issues in the state.

“We don’t even have enough town planners in Lagos. From available record there are just about 350 of them in the state. This is small when you consider the quantum of town planning issues and jobs in the state. Where we have the required number, each local government in the state should have a special desk for town planners, an area we consider if we are elected to serve the state.”

According, town planning should be people-based, commencing from the local government, where every citizen would have opportunity to participate. “When we have proper planning from the local governments, our communities would be better planned and the state’s resources would be efficiently managed.”

In his inaugural speech, Anifowoshe, who unveiled seven cardinal points on which his administration would perform, said it was their collective resolve as a team to deliver on their chosen mandate, which is to ensure and bequeath to the chapter an enduring, brighter and rewarding tenure.

According to him, his team would consolidate and sustain laudable achievements/developments of the past administrations that have made NITP Lagos the toast of other chapters in Nigeria. “We are poised more than ever to keep, sustain and consolidate on past glorious achievements so that Lagos State Chapter will remain all ever the ‘torch-bearer’ and good example for other chapters to follow.”

Listed as areas of focus include strengthening the financial/revenue base of the chapter, facilitating the commencement of the development of the main secretariat building for the chapter, consolidating the capacity training/empowerment of members through workshop, lecturers, study tours and interface regularly with sister professional bodies, politicians, organised private sector, public sector, academics and other key stakeholders including international organisation.

Also, the new helmsman said there would be efficient and quality representations, strengthening publicity and publications of newsletter and infrastructure improvement with library upgrade.