Town planners institute begins N500m secretariat in Abia
Members of the Abia State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has begun move for the building of its permanent Secretariat in Umuahia.
Performing the ground breaking ceremony of the project, estimated to cost N500 milion, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu, expressed appreciation for the NITP efforts in the state.
He stressed government’s support for the project, and acknowledged that the institute has through its activities bring about sustainability of livable environment through physical planning.
He however stated that the responsibility to protect, sustain, beautify and uphold the integrity of the environment is that of both the government and NITP.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Chief Uche Ihediba, stressed the need for master and physical planning, describing it as key to infrastructural development.
The state chairman of NITP, Nelson Nwaosu said the building would be built in phases with five years completion time. He thanked the state governor for allocating NITP land in the new government station layout despite the land scarcity.
The chapter named the Secretariat after ‘pioneer chairman of the state Chapter, Dr. Chijioke Odimuko’, a past National President of the Institute.
Meanwhile, the first National Vice President Chief Lekwa Ezutah has lamented public disregard for relevant provisions of town planning laws by erecting illegal structures indiscriminately.
Ezutah who spoke in Umuahia, during a press conference organised by the State Chapter to mark the 25 th anniversary of the Abia state NITP, stressed the need for property developers to ensure that their structures were duly approved by the appropriate authority.
According to him, in times of undesired arising that may lead to demolition in public interest, compensation would be paid to only those whose structures were accordingly pre-approved.
Nwaosu said, the state’s Chapter has progressed from 10 pioneer members to about 400 presently.
He noted that the state Physical Planning Law was amended to and brought to be in line with present realities including sealing of illegal and deficient structures. “We have made tremendous success in physical planning, including the nurturing of young town planners, but we are yet to arrive our destination.”
The State Director of Physical Planning in the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning Mr Chibueze Nwaogu, said that progress and achievements made or not made in any state physical planning depended on the state government’s disposition to it .
According to him, “Physical planning is a government activity which cannot be actualized if the government does not so support it”.
Nwaogu, who is the immediate past state chairman of the institute, said that the Chapter has made substantial achievements since its inception, in spite of its challenges and cited the passage of the Abia State Urban and Regional Planning Board and Town Planning Authority Law 1999 by the State’s House of Assembly.