Planners urge new scale of fees as ATOPCON mulls improved practice standard
FOLLOWING increased task and technology associated with urban development, the umbrella body of town planners has reiterated its call for members in private practice to fashion out a new scale of fees, which will be mainstreamed into the traditional areas of their services.
Planners have been agitating a review of the Federal Government approved scale of fees for consultant town planners and other professionals. They argue that members are being shortchanged, as other consultants in the industry charges according to percentage value of the project while a planner fees is based on per hectare of land.
NITP President, Dr. Femi Olomola, who spoke at the 2015 Professional Development Workshop organised by Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), last week in Lagos, said there is urgent need for ATOPCON, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC) and NITP to partner and take a strategic look at the issue and come up with a fee schedule that remunerates consultant town planners appropriately for the services rendered.
His words: “ To date, there is this provisions in the Procurement Act, which mandates all professionals to charge fees on hourly basis. Every professional body through their various regulating agencies have put in place a scale of fees for engaging the services of their members. In many cases, this relates and in context of the Federal government approves scale of fees for consultants in the built environment. Town planners should key into it for the benefits of members.”
Consultant town planners have been mandated to review their 1996 scale of fees in line with others in the built environment, even as ATOPCON members move to reclaim lost grounds in professional practice through a structured managerial skills acquisition and business strategy design
Earlier, ATOPCON President, Moses Ogunleye stated that the choice of the theme of the workshop- Maximizing Business Performance: Leveraging on Managerial Skills, was borne out of the need to enhance the managerial skills of members and facilitate the understanding of the changing business setting and be able to practice more effectively.
According to Ogunleye, “The changing scenario at the international, national, regional and local economies requires that we continuously develop the capacities of our member firms.”
TOPREC President, Prof. Layi Egunjobi noted that the business of managing a planning firm or planning organisation cannot be effective and profitable, if the managers lack skills of communication, patience and calmness as well as integrity, delivery of quality products and services.
“In an organisation where there is no free flow of communication vertically or horizontally, there is bound to be failure in procuring jobs, carrying out professional activities and eventual service delivery. In such organisations, there is bound to be actions based on assumptions or outright ignorance,” he said.
He disclosed that the culture of integrity, delivery of quality product and services is essential for building and maintaining good image of the profession, justify the fees charged and to remain afloat in the sea of competitiveness.
The group Chief Executive Officer, TBS Consulting, Mr. Like Olufade stressed that to maximise business performance in the future, town planners should focus on their clients and plan to meet their requirements on time as well as build successful working partnership.
He said that there is need to town planners to convince their clients to set up an implementation committee for project and be creative, adding that ATOPCON members should insist on standard while members who compromise or work with clients to undermine others must be sanctioned.
Olufade who said the organization should rise up to the occasion to protect its profession, noted that some professionals have lost their integrity that clients do not pay them for their services rendered.
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