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Planners want practitioners to redefine strategy for service delivery

By Victor Gbonegun
31 October 2022   |   3:20 am
Professional town planners have been advised to evolve a new strategy of meeting the needs of clients and solving multiplicity of urban challenges.

Ogunleye

Professional town planners have been advised to evolve a new strategy of meeting the needs of clients and solving multiplicity of urban challenges.

They were also urged to abide by the professional ethics of integrity, diligence and capacity associated with town planning service, which makes it mandatory for consultants to consider expectations of not only the clients with which it had contractual agreement, but the multiple ‘non contractual’ parties.

A past president, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Dr. Moses Ogunleye, said this at the association’s yearly General Meeting in Lagos. He argued that since consultancy service is about solution provision, clients’ expectations are high because of the anticipation that the expectations will meet the quality of service they are paying for.

Ogunleye, who spoke on ‘Expectation for Town Planning Consultants in Project Delivery’ said the expectantations from town planners’ service are from individuals, corporate body/bodies, governments and third party, to whom the consultant town planner have no legal contract, but is expected to have social contract. Hence, he said it requires effective service and could raise concerns in case of shoddy jobs.

According to him, as a practitioner who has devoted skill and competence to the industry over a period of time, the planner is bound to have some interests in certain projects or activities. However, he said such interest should be declared in order to avoid conflict, adding that acting in such a manner is in conformity with the ethos of honesty, openness, and integrity while acting otherwise, is unethical and dishonorable in project delivery.

Ogunleye, who is also the Managing Director of MOA Planners Limited, said every consulting firm must have a business strategy, be ready for competition, stressing that this option will allow the client to “know a firm for what it is”

“Some town planning consultancy organisations have claimed to have competencies in areas where they are not certified. This is not only debilitating to the profession, it is unethical. When such occurs, it is tantamount to falsehood or deceit.”

ATOPCON President, Muyiwa Adelu, said the forum provided an opportunity for evaluating accomplishments and serves as an opportunity for town planning consultants across the nation to discuss current issues and consider potential directions for the association and the profession.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, represented by the Director, Physical Planning Department, Bola Aliu, described ATOPCON as important stakeholder in urban development, advised them to improve professional expertise and technical know-how, uphold professional ethics/integrity and discipline in service.

He also charged them to encourage peer review on projects, exchange of ideas and experience, teamwork and team spirit.

Bamgbose-Martins, said the practitioners must do more to meet contemporary challenges in project planning, delivery and management.

The commissioner further urged them to improve on getting modern day equipment/technology, competent staff, training on due process and diligence and understanding the politics and structures of different organisations in which they apply for projects/jobs.