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TOPREC inducts 296 planners, as Oyo partners NITP

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Housing units built under the Federal Government’s National Housing Programme in Akinyele area of Ibadan, Oyo State.<br />

30The Town Planners Registration Council Of Nigeria (TOPREC) has charged the 296 new members inducted into its fold to brace up for challenges posed by technological advancement and impact on the profession.

President of TOPREC, Isyaku Kura stated this at the 34th induction ceremony in Lagos. Kura explained that the ceremony is an essential statutory function aimed at sustaining the professional knowledge and technical skills required for improved capacity throughout professional life and in interaction with the public.

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He said the newly registered members have complied with all procedures as contained in section 5(2), (3), and (4) of the Town Planners registration (decree No.3 of 1988) CAP T7 LFN 2004 and emphasised that the event marks a new beginning of professional life aimed at preparing them for challenges of practice.

Kura said 296 members who were inducted across the country have successfully passed both written and oral examinations, which brings the total registered town planners in the country to 4,963 while those that are register-able stand at over 2,000.

Speaking at the occasion, a professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Nasarawa State University, Timothy Gyuse tasked the inductees to make themselves relevant especially, in the face of a changing world.

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He said advances in technology have affected the way people live and carry out businesses and the practice of planning is not left out.

Gyuse said, “I want to draw your attention to four challenges you are going to face. These are technology, information explosion, the danger of protectionism, and the challenge of relevance. Remember that this is not the end of the journey but the beginning. The country and the profession need you.”

The president, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Olutoyin Ayinde represented by the national publicity secretary, David Olawale told the inductees that the institute would be looking up to them as the future of the profession, hence the need to demonstrate a high level of competence and integrity in their newly acquired professional life.

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MEANWHILE, the Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde has said his administration will partner with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, NITP, on town planning and urban development to boost the socio-economic status of the state.

The governor said this when he received national executives of the institute, led by its president, Oluwatoyin Ayinde, at the governor’s office in Ibadan. He told the delegation that his administration is open to working with local resources and expertise to develop the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as urging town planners to explore how they can work together for the development of the state.

He said: “You are welcome to Ibadan and I am glad that you came yesterday and you must have seen some things around. Well, just as you have identified, town planning is a big problem for us in this country. Where I was born, the actual address of the building my parents stayed in, which still stands out there, is N4/79. It is still in Ward 4 of Ibadan North Local Government.

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“Some people started planning this country, but we took the wrong turn. I took somebody to the Central Business District at Dugbe here and he said some people have started something. “Ibadan can be an alternative location to Lagos. And they are ready and willing to bring the Base here. So, I gave them the land but some people wrote a petition and said, no, this is our ancestral land.”

“We acquired about 4,000 hectres of land where we want to build a new city called ‘Ilu Tuntun’. And why are we saying that? I have been all over the world, especially South Africa, which is midway between the African setting and Europe, they do have people that are struggling just like us here. When you go to some places, it is pure first world. They have everything working. They put in all the plans and you have places that are third-world as we are.”

He added, “The people that started this country had good plans and it is one of the things we currently enjoy in Oyo State. When people say the governor is doing well, the secret is that I am not doing any new plan. I go out there and dust what our founding fathers had done in the past. I believe that it is an opportunity for the president and everyone here, including the Oyo State chairman, for you to come forward and see how we can work together on that. We are completely open to working with local resources and local expertise.”

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The governor added that if the NITP has requests or proposals for the government on how it can reclaim the glory of Bodija Estate, it would be ready to work with the institute.

Earlier, the NITP president Ayinde, stated that the essence of the visit was to assess the state of physical planning in the state and to sensitise people on the importance of town planning and planners.
He said it had become imperative to make Nigerians understand the importance of town planning, adding that the Institute has been able to find out planning answers to good governance.

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