Nigeria’s future hinges on planning, managing natural resources, says FG
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that Nigeria’s future is hinged on the roles played in ensuring natural resources are properly planned and managed.
Fashola made this disclosure in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the yearly general meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He expressed regret that most public servants give less priority to urban and town planners in favour of economic planners.
He argued that people’s quality of life is dependent on how they plan their environment.
The minister, however, charged the institute to ensure major cities in the country are well planned.
He said: “The future of our civilisation and quality of lives is dependent on the role assigned to our town planners on one hand and responsibilities they are willing and ready to take.
“My experience in public service has shown how less prominent town planners have been as compared with other professionals. I think it is important to tell ourselves the truth, almost everything is connected and dependent on urban and town planning. Why town planning is not taking the front seat is a question for all of us to ponder.
“The two most important people in government should be the town planner and economy planner in that order.
“This is to say everything man relies on for his existence is connected to the land.
“Therefore, it is psychological to expect that the manner in which the land is used should determine inevitably the quality of life in the environment. It is the work of the town planners to challenge the economic planners.
“Regrettably, I must say that I have not seen enough of this kind of methodological order of developmental planning.”
NITP President, Olutoyin Ayinde, blamed the institute’s non-prominence on the failure of leaders to understand why physical planning is important.
Ayinde argued that public servants fail to connect the nexus between physical and economic planning, which has resulted in the logjam in governance.
“The aspect of the non-prominence of town planners is due to the fact that those in governance are not trained to understand that there is a nexus between physical and economic planning.
Most times, governors and presidents are more interested in the budget, which is about economic plans, they do not understand that every economic plan becomes a reality not in the air but on the ground and until that is realised, people should not be talking about economic development plan,” he warned.