On the 5th September 1966, 30 pioneer Town Planners held a historic meeting in Lagos which led to the formal inauguration of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners. A protem Executive Council was elected to steer the affairs of the young Institute. From this humble beginning, the Institute has grown from strength to strength to a membership size of over 2,000 made up of 142 Fellows, 1814 Full members and over 325 Graduate members. There are also over 2000 Student members of the Institute.
Planners develop long- and short-term plans to use land for the growth and revitalization of urban, suburban, and rural communities, while helping local officials make decisions concerning social, economic, and environmental problems. Because local governments employ the majority of urban and regional planners, they often are referred to as community, regional, or city planners.
The NITP is Nigeria's leading planning body for spatial, sustainable, integrative and inclusive planning. The NITP exists to advance the science and art of planning for the benefit of the public.
The Institute produced a Constitution soon after its inaugural meeting in 1996. This constitution, as amended in 1994 defines the aims and objectives of the Institute, the different classes of membership and conditions of election, financial matters, officers of the Institute and their duties, various committees, rules guiding General Meetings and Conference as well as establishment of State Chapters.
The Federal Government formally recognized the profession of town and country planning in Nigeria when it promulgated the Town Planners (Registration etc) Decree No. 3 of 1988. The Decree established the Town Planners Registration Council which was formally inaugurated in November, 1988. Among other provisions, the Decree provided for rules for the registration of town planners; approval of courses of instruction and examination leading to approved qualifications. The Decree also specifies penalties for unprofessional conduct, as well as for those who practice the profession without qualifications. Also in December 1992, Urban and Regional Planning Law (Decree No 88 of 1992) was promulgated. That Law which is a landmark in the history of this Institute demonstrates clearly government's commitment to the same lofty objectives of the founding fathers.