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Why cities’ masterplans need periodic reviews, by experts



With the continuous influx of people into urban centres like Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Abuja and others, new problems are beginning to emerge at an alarming rate, especially pressure on land and infrastructure.

Development experts are calling for the review of masterplans/model city designs to cater for perennial environmental flooding, transportation/traffic issues, housing needs, and persisting slum conditions.

Under the review, problems of poor drainage, incidents of haphazard developments and land-use misfits, lack of adequate infrastructural facilities and social amenities, security and safety of inhabitants are expected to be resolved.


Regrettably, majority of these problems are still apparent in Lagos and its environs.

Investigations show that only eight out of the 12 existing model city plans in the state are operational. They include Lekki Comprehensive Master Plan, Badagry Master Plan, Ikoyi-Victoria Island Model City Plan, Ikeja Model City Plan, Apapa Model City Plan, Lagos Mainland Model City Plan, Alimosho Model City Plan, and Agege-Ifako Model City Plan.

Out of the four additional masterplans prepared which are the Epe Master Plan, Ikorodu Master Plan, Oshodi-Isolo Model City Plan, and the revised Ikeja Model City Plans, few are actively operational while planning brief for Kosofe model city plan (2017-2037) is still on.

The review of old physical development plans became necessary due to contemporary physical planning challenges and the inability of the existing Plan (2008 ñ 2018) to solve emerging planning problems.

Lagos as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world with a vision of becoming Africa’s model megacity and global, economic and financial hub, needs a periodic review to be safe, secure, functional and productive.

According to a professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, Adeleke Oduwaye, Nigeria policymakers need to develop the culture of developing masterplans and reviewing them as at when due because many things could change that would affect how land is put to use.


For instance, Prof. Aduwaye said, “There is no public car park at Alausa, Lagos they just assume that everybody would park inside their plots. They suppose to have allowed some plots designated for public car parks. The government could have done PPP arrangement with some people to build high rise car park.”

He stated that to some reasonable extent the implementers of model city plan in Lagos are following them, to guide development but insisted that the review aspect of the masterplan is so critical, but the government, is ignorant of it.

A past president of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Dr. Moses Ajayi blamed the failure of the city development plan on the fact that they were drawn up by people with an inadequate understanding of scale and economies of planning processes for urban governance.

He told The Guardian that what the state need is a strategic physical development plan that would easily accommodate social/economic, technological changes, increasing volume of road traffic, population and utilities such as, pipelines, electricity utilities, telephone lines among others.

Also, the immediate past president, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Moses Ogunleye said poor implementation of plans affect its overall physical impacts.

He observed that the previous plan reviews were not implemented up to 20 percent before other reviews were set in motion.
ìPhysical development plans are a long-term plan of between 10 to 20 years. So we wouldnít be able to access the impact fully unless we start the implementation.

In the revised plan for instance for Ikeja, Victoria-Island, Ikoyi, and the one for Apapa, more stakeholders in the Local Development Areas(LDAs) were involved fully than the previous ones. The one for the Apapa model city plan involved fully the ministry of transport, ministry for the environment LAMATA, ministry of Agriculture and so with the fuller involvement of other LDAs. Lekki has not been reviewed; it’s still the same one prepared about 10 years ago. What was done is to prepare a mini-plan for Agege and Apapa. LDAs should take prepared plans as their own and not as plans supervised by the ministry of physical planning,” he said.

On reclassification of some locations, he said: “If an area is reclassified for instance from residential to commercial, why that could be done is that the planners who are involved consider the infrastructure particularly road, power supply, ease of parking, traffic because commercial developments draw more traffic.”

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