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NITP laments non-domestication of physical planning law

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The Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), has decried non-domestication of the National Urban and Regional Planning Act 138 of 2004, which was enacted as a decree in 1992 across the states of the federation.

NITP President, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, who spoke with The Guardian in Umuahia, Abia State capital, stressed that less than 30 per cent of the states in the country had implemented the law.

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Ayinde said the provision of the act was that physical planning should be handled at any level of government, including federal, state and local governments.

According to him, despite the provision, planning is not being practised at the local council level because they were being muzzled.

This, he said, despite the fact that the Federal Government has been stripped of its exclusive control by the June 2003 Supreme Court judgment.

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Ayinde stressed that the said judgment held that physical planning law is not in the exclusive legislative list.

“ The law should specify the role of each tier of government and the federal government responsibility in national physical planning,” he added.

On quackery, he noted that though it was not peculiar to Town Planning, he identified Influx of foreigners in the practice and ignorance on the part of administrators at federal, state and local levels as the greatest problem militating against orderliness in the practice.

He said that administrators namely the presidency, governors and local authorities do not understand or appreciate the essence or value of planning.

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“ If they understand and appreciate the value of planning, they would not commence development before planning hence doing so would be building chaos”

He, however, said processes have been put in place to check quackery.

These, he said, include a provision that foreign firms practising in the country must first be registered while public servants are mandated to approve and seal only plans prepared or endorsed by professional town planners.

Ayinde, who interacted with members of Abia State Chapter, urged town planners to be more professional in handling their jobs.

He also tasked them to take sustained responsibility to enlighten the state government on the imperative need to invest in planning.

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