NITP meets works minister, seeks recognition for town planners
The executives of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) have held discussions with the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and sought collaboration with the ministry.
NITP President, Olutoyin Ayinde, led the executive to talks at the Ministry of Works and Housing headquarters, Mabushi, Abuja, acquainted the minister with activities of planners, and informed the government on the readiness of the town planners to collaborate in ensuring a more resilient urbanisation in the country.
Ayinde urged the ministry to take leadership in matters of urban and regional planning as well as enhance physical planning and attainment of Goal 11 of the Agenda 2030, Sustainable Cities and Settlements.
Responding, Fashola described physical planning as the bedrock of economic development and growth, adding that no society can truly develop without first sorting out how land is to be used.
He called on NITP to intervene and take the lead in the reconstruction and redevelopment of the numerous police stations and court premises, recently destroyed in Lagos and other parts of the country during the recent protests.
Meanwhile, NITP has called on government to engage town planners to regenerate or remodel areas where destruction of urban facilities, structures and infrastructure took place.
“Town Planners is willing, ready and available to provide professional services, in this regard, as our contribution to the redevelopment of our human settlements,” he said.
Ayinde, who spoke in an address at this year’s World Town Planning Day (WTPD), noted that the developing world, including Nigeria, has only enjoyed a limited measure of the benefits of town planning.
“This is because due recognition has not been given to the profession and its practice. The truth, however, is that town planning can be ignored only at the peril of the one who ignores it.
“The signs of lack of attention to town planning in our clime are quite visible, ranging from disorganised physical environment, disjointed road networks, uncoordinated housing development, lack of physical and social infrastructure to uncompleted projects, making way for the springing up of informal settlements, congestion of limited facilities and thereby putting a strain on the capacity of the urban areas for resilience to natural and artificial disasters,” he added.
He expressed the need for policy makers, the political class to understand programmes and promises that have spatial implications, embrace town planning from national to local levels.
WTPD is celebrated November 8 of every year since the past 71 years. The day is given special recognition aimed at promoting the role of town planning in establishing livable urban communities, creating awareness of the environmental impact produced by development of cities and territories.
It also brings together professional planners and the general community to see how the world’s settlements can be shaped into ideal places for people to live, work and play.