The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has commended the Nigerian House of Representatives which called, on Thusday 24th November 2016, for the immediate review of the Abuja Master Plan in order to reflect the social, economic and demographic realities of contemporary times.
The National President, Tpl. Luka Achi (FNITP), said its review would address the demands and challenges of urbanisation in FCT. He however emphasized the need to ensure that only town planning firms registered to practise in Nigeria should be consulted to get a functional and efficient master plan. Tpl. Achi stated that the master plan should have been reviewed before now in view of several changes that have taken place and the emerging requirements of the ever-growing FCT.
He recalled that in 1976 when the plan was prepared, little did government expect or forecast that there would be security-challenging issues such as Boko Haram insurgency, nor other forms of crises, like cattle rearing, plaguing the Capital City, which now make the review inevitable.
The National President, in the same vein, commended the Lagos State Government for the award of Epe and Ikorodu Master Plans, as well as, the Oshodi – Isolo Model City Plan made earlier in the year.
Tpl Achi appreciated the Kaduna State Government for the 19 towns advertised for master planning. He also commended the Nasarawa State Government for Karu , Keffi, and Lafia master plans, while he sought to encourage other states of the Federation to emulate the Lagos, Kaduna and Nasarawa State Governments.
He further advised that wider stakeholder engagements be employed in carrying out the plans, so as to secure the buy-in of the general public, which makes implementation of such plans a lot easier he advised that the Abuja Master Plan review must recognise land disputes already existing as a result of the old master plan with a view of resolving those disputes.
In concluding, the National President of NITP stated that the Institute as a professional body is ready to offer advice, assist and collaborate with government on any physical planning issues in the country that will make the sustainability of Nigerian settlements achievable.
Tpl Olugbenga Ashiru
National Public Relations