By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The National President of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), TPL. Lekwa Ezutah, has urged governments at all levels to take physical planning seriously in order to have a conducive organized society for all.
Ezutah made the disclosure in Abuja recently, during a media chat with newsmen on the institution’s forthcoming 50th annual conference and annual general meeting .
He said when the government takes planning serious the policy direction would promote sustainability.
He said: “Physical planning is expensive, but we don’t have to planless. If we put physical planning as a front burner, we will prevent so many things from happening such as conversion of building space, building collapse, deficits in housing, flooding, congestion and unemployment. Let us do planning rightly to avoid bad occurrences.”
According to him, 27 years down the line the physical planning commission created since 1992 at the national level has not been effective. The laws have not been adopted even in states.
He said the national urban and regional planning commission was supposed to formulate national policies for urban and regional planning; initiate, prepare and implement National Physical Development Plan, regional and subject plans as well as establish and maintain urban and regional planning standard.
“as the president of the institute, since our inauguration 9months ago, I have travelled to about eight(8)states among those states, What I discovered in Plateau, Benue,Akwa-Ibom amongst other states visited, there was no visible present of physical planning and this is a problem because cities and towns are rundown.”
“That is why we see developed slums all around our cities because the original master plan was not used in those areas including Abuja Master plan and that is the consequences we are all involved in. “.
He also lamented that “sincerely iam not happy with the way Abuja master plan is going”we must take planning seriously because this will help the country to create a conducive environment that will attracted investors and improve the economy of the nation “,he said .
Consequently, The president gave an insight on the conference theme: target “Regenerating Nigerian Cities,” saying is apt for a time like this. The annual meeting is slated for October 28 to November 1 at the University of Ibadan.