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Planners task FG, states to implement urban development law

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
23 August 2021   |   4:22 am
The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has urged the federal and state governments to commence the implementation of national urban and regional planning law.

President Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Toyin Ayinde (left); General Manager Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki; chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NITP, Ayo Adejumo and other members of the delegation during a visit to the office of LASBCA in Lagos recently.

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has urged the federal and state governments to commence the implementation of national urban and regional planning law.

The institute also charged government to be alive to its responsibility while professional town planners should make available acquired knowledge in both art and science for the government to develop into a workable blue print.

NITP President, Olutoyin Ayinde, who made the plea in Abuja, while saying that the framework at the federal level hasn’t been implemented, he stressed that it will require every state to domesticate the legislation towards enhancing physical planning in the country.

Ayinde lamented that Nigerians were under-informed on matters relating town, urban, or regional planning due to the fact that the federal government has not paid proper attention to it.

He “Many times the emphasis has been on economic planning. The national urban and regional legislation was promulgated as a decree in 1992, and became law in 2004. It prescribes the various hierarchies of plans meant to be prepared at federal, state and local levels, to ensure the success of its implementation.”

According to him, countries like Singapore and others have shown that limited land resources can be efficiently managed for livability and sustainability. He expressed concerns that the desperate need for lands has triggered inter-communal clashes between communities in the country.

“The incidence of farmers-herders clash, which underscores the importance of land in economic and physical development had never existed when our population was low”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government and the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) have restated their readiness to enter into a partnership so as to realise the vision of making Lagos a sustainable smart city of choice in the country.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, stated government’s commitment during a courtesy call on the ministry by the National body of NITP led by its president, Olutoyin Ayinde and the state chapter led by its chairman, Ayo Adejumo.

Dr. Salako said the government cherished the input and support of the professional bodies adding that collaborative efforts were required to attain a livable, organised and sustainable physical environment in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the government.

He stressed that in upholding the essence and ethics of the profession, the ministry has evolved a smarter vision, mission and made other meaningful reforms such as the ongoing digitisation of its processes, to optimise its services to the people.

Salako said “As ambassadors of the profession, we in the Ministry have been keeping the flag flying while latching on to the impetus provided by the Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy pillar of the State Government agenda to do more and produce actions that benefit the State.”

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Ganiyu Adele Ayuba and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Abiola Kosegbe, urged the institute to work closely with the government to resolve the challenge of planning. They emphasised that all professional bodies must unite and cooperate with the State Government to ensure the sanctity of planning.

“The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners should help spearhead a mindset change among its members, who were supposed to provide solutions to the society.”

Also in a similar visit to the Lagos State Building Control Agency, (LASBCA) the General Manager, Gbolahan Oki assured the institute of commitment to partner with members for better physical planning development and to achieve environmentally friendly smart city status.

Earlier, the NITP national President, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde said that the essence of the visits was to assess the state of physical planning in Lagos State and feel the pulse of members of the institute in the State Chapter. Ayinde, who doubles as the former Commissioner in Lagos, emphasised that town planning is key to governance adding that there was need for a paradigm shift in the approach to planning for a livable and sustainable built environment.

The NITP president stated that to achieve a sustainable environment, planning is un-compromisable.
He said, “We must begin to think about planning for the future and planning for all. “

He lauded the GM of LASBCA for his achievements in enforcing the agency’s statutory responsibilities through its collaborative efforts with professional bodies in the built industry.

The president of NITP who was on a nationwide tour to assess the state of physical planning across the country said Lagos State is the 14 State visited so far. He lamented that the country is yet to have a perfect settlement for its citizenry adding that proper planning was needed by the government to accommodate the inflows of people into the city.
“For this to be possible the organs of government must come together to achieve results”, he said.