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NITP, TOPREC warn town planners against unprofessional conduct

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Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) National President Mr. Luka Bulus Achi


Determined to sustain its relevance to the society, experts have cautioned town planners against acts that could smear the image of the profession in both public and private practices.

Specifically, they urged them to shun dubious loyalties and conflicting incentives that may becloud the application of ethical principles, which could further result to the rise of misbehaviours, failures or unfulfilled expectations that keep more demands on public reactions to various planning problems such as, building collapse, environmental degradation, slum development and poor planning in cities.

President, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria, (TOPREC), Prof. Layi Egunjobi who gave the warning at the 2019 Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme (MCPDP) held in the three geo-political zones of the country, said ethical principles and values should be seen as vital to service delivery and be held in common by registered town planners in private and public sectors in Nigeria.

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Egunjobi disclosed that the choice of this year’s theme, “Mastering ethical conduct in town planning practice” is informed by the series of ethical issues confronting the profession and professionals in their efforts to serve the Nigerian people.

According to him, in the face of societal dilemmas, the focus should be how do town planners meet up with the expected performance stressing that the role of ethics becomes more central and should penetrate more deeply both into the profession, practice and professionals for better service delivery in some challenging circumstances.

The National president, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Lekwa Ezutah in his remarks expressed dismays that in recent years, greed and impatience have driven so many professionals to abuse professional ethics and code of conduct for pecuniary gratifications or under the guise of ‘order from above’.

According to him, such acts are perpetrated through reckless use of stamps and seals, abuse of land-use plans through uncoordinated changes, bastardization of plans, building plan approvals without recourse to master plans where they exist, supplanting in bidding for consultancy services, poor performance of duties including non-attendance of lectures by our colleagues in academics, thus impartation of knowledge and other innumerable acts which are inconsistent with established rules of operation.

He lamented that due to these acts against ethics, members are priced low and they rub negatively on the profession through projection of bad image to the public. Ezutah therefore, call for caution in the practice of the planning profession to enable the practitioners hold their heads high, in terms of integrity before the government and the Nigerian public at large.
the benefits of the new urban agenda”, he said.

In his presentation, the chairman of the 21st edition of the nitp/toprec mcpdp committee Prof. Smart Uchegbu maintained that regardless of profession or the field of work one belongs to, ethics is crucial for a successful enterprise. The success or the expected results in any endeavour, he said depends on how members of the association deal with the situations on ethical conduct.

Speaking on “New horizon in ethical conduct for town planning practitioners” the Managing Director, MOA Planners Limited, Mr. Moses Ogunleye declared that in resolving matters of ethics, some dilemmas are bound to occur. One of such is, he noted is how to live a good life in the course of practice, without being unethical.

“Resolving such a position, requires taking some decisions on moral and philosophical standing. Another is the ability, will and readiness to assert one’s rights and be alive to one’s responsibilities. There would be instances in which ones right might have been infringed upon but the cost of fighting for such and the implication on ones responsibility, as a professional could be dialectical. There have been complaints and some “talks” of unprofessional acts of town planners by members of the public. Town planners have also fumed at unethical acts by their colleagues. These show that the behaviour of town planners are noticeable within and without”, Ogunleye stated.

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