A legal practioner, Awa Kalu, has decried a drawback in the implementation of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2004 by the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP).
Kalu made this known while delivering a lecture entitled “Professionals and Leadership’’at the investiture of the 23rd National President of NITP, Mr Lekwa Ezutah, and its executive members in Abuja on Saturday, February 2, 2019.
According to him, there is a visible negativity in the implementation of the provisions of the Act.
Kalu said that the Act was intended to promote cities that could harness the energies of the citizens in an environment that promote common good of dominant people.
He warned that slums and other negative attributes that could arise from poor implementation of urban and regional planning stipulations must be eliminated or kept at a minimum.
“Development control objectives must be emphasised and elevated. As town planners, once you put on your leadership caps, your vibrancy will be felt in our cities and towns.
“In addition, once you add professionalism to what you do, your extra-curricular impact will be self evident.
The Former Attorney General noted that the Act set up a National Urban and Regional Planning Commission which, by law, has a Town Planner as a statutory member.
“By virtue of section seven of the enactment, the commission is assigned of many functions which include the formulation of national policies for urban and regional planning.
“Its function also includes the initiation, preparation and implementation of the National Physical Development Plan, regional and subject plans, among others,” he said.
He urged the institute to apply the collective learning of its body of professionals to exert influence and control in the political sphere.
Prof. Layi Egunjobi, President, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC), said that the leadership of NITP and TOPREC would continue to jointly initiate new opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefits.
Egunjobi added that the leadership would tackle numerous issues facing the country including building collapse, domestication of Urban and Regional Planning Law by states and establishment of Urban and Regional Commission at the federal level.
According to him, there will be an urban governance security and financing urban infrastructure housing for the poor, among others.
By Emmanuella Anokam