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Planners blame lack of master plans on poor urban governance

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Renowned planner, Mr. Moses Ajayi has decried the lack of master plans to guide the growth of the majority of the Nigerian cities, blaming it on the failure of urban governance and lawlessness on the part of the government.

He urged the public to become more proactive in planning matters to achieve liveable cities in the face of increasing urbanization.

“The public doesn’t believe that the city is their own and should get involved in its management and development. In short, the public has allowed autocracy to be the order of the day in our town”, he said.

Ajayi, a past president of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, advised who spoke during activities to mark 40th year anniversary of Molaj consultants, a town planning firm, in Lagos, explained that the anniversary’s activities to appreciate God for surviving the years, despite the turbulence of the Nigerian business environment.

Ajayi, who is the founder of the firm, advised the federal government to create an enabling environment that would attract private sector development of ranches across the country.

He warned that RUGA settlements should be optional for states while a more rational way out of the crisis is for the federal government to enable the private sector to set up ranches for the use of the herdsmen.

On his part, a professor of town planning from the University of Lagos, Leke Oduwaye who is one of the two professors produced by the firm, observed that as long as the herdsmen are out to do business, setting up of private ranches for their activities is the best way to go.

Oduwaye said, “Private ranches would be better managed unlike when it has public interest. Anything that is agriculturally based, there should be a subsidy if it can’t sustain itself. If they are subsidised there would be efficiency and there would be a way that the government could get its revenue back.”

He stated that it’s unfortunate that despite the provision in the law that involves the public both in plan-making and development control, Nigeria public has been complacent.


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