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NITP seeks Enugu government consent to urban, regional planning law

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The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has appealed to Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to grant speedy consent to the urban and regional planning law, which has passed first and second readings in the House of Assembly.

NITP president, Olutoyin Ayinde, made the appeal last week when he paid a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House, Enugu.

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Ayinde said that the 1992 Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning law, which became an Act in 2004, was enacted as a result of the importance of physical planning, which is the bedrock of any ordered and beautiful development.

He said that the essence of the law is to ensure that planning has a direction. “You can’t have enforcement if there is no law backing it. Planning thrives on good governance, when there is no good governance, there will be no planning,” he said.

Ayinde urged the state government to invest in the preparation of development plan for towns and villages because development without plans negates the concept of livability and sustainability.

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Ayinde told the governor: “Master plans comprising of the city, town and village plans are a necessity for genuine development of the state. Building plan approval is meaningless in the absence of city, town plans and layouts,” Ayinde said.

He appealed to the governor to use town planners. “Studies on relevant areas of urban development and preparation of action plans to address specific issues for matters of urgent attention like urban regeneration, upgrading of declining settlements and creation of destinations for citizens,” he added.

Ayinde disclosed that town planning department, ministry of lands and urban development were the only professional department in the state, yet to be computerised and appealed to the government to extend the gesture to town planning and build their capacity to enhance their efficiency.

Responding on behalf of the state governor, the secretary to the state government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, assured that town planning will have an independent leg of its own to remove conflict between town planners, the ministry of lands and the survey department.

He disclosed that the state government had opened up new towns in Nsukka, Amagunze and Awgu within six years.

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