‘Land Use Act greatest disaster in physical planning’

Lagos NITP elects new executive committee

The urbanisation processes, laws and designs of Nigeria and Lagos state in particular, has come under the scrutiny of town planners as activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) continued with a public lecture and book launch at the annual general meeting of the body.

Titled: ‘Town Planning Profession and the Future of Nigerian Cities: The Lagos Experience’, the lecture was delivered by Bamidele Opeyemi, an attorney and counselor-at-law of the state of New York, United States of America.

Reviewing the pre and post independence eras of urbanization, Opeyemi noted that the Nigerian experience was one in which urban development occurred more rapidly against a background of higher population growth but less developed economic, social and political systems and quite unlike in the cases of developed countries which took many decades of gradual evolvement.

He said this rapid urbanisation experience was determined solely by the transformative force of rural – urban migration resulting in a plethora of negative consequences and challenges, which till date remains to be properly addressed.

His words: “This rapid urbanization was accompanied with numerous challenges such as unemployment, environmental degradations, deficiencies in urban services, inadequate housing, deterioration of existing infrastructures, lack of access to key resources, social vices such as armed robbery and violence. The urbanization process and its attendant socio-economic as well as environmental problems in the early 1960s called for proper town and country planning.

Opeyemi also emphasized that the realities of the time was what led to the promulgation of the Land Use Act in 1978 to curb the menace of land speculation, ease the process of land acquisition by government, coordinate and formulate tenure modernization. He added that the Act, which has several negative effects appears to be the greatest disaster that has befallen physical planning in Nigeria.

The occasion was equally used to launch the fourth edition of the ‘Basic Principles and Methods of Urban and Regional Planning’, authored by Africa’s first female town planner, Mrs. Catherine Kehinde George.

George, a past chairman of the Lagos State chapter of NITP, said she was motivated to write the first edition of the book in 1999 as a tool to aid town planning and environmental sciences students in their study and researches and to provide a useful reference material for town planning lecturers, consultants allied professionals and the general readers.

Meanwhile, NITP Lagos State Chapter has elected new members of its executive committee. The election took place at its 2016 Annual General Meeting held in Ikeja, Lagos on September 29, 2016. Mr Kunle Salami (chairman) Mr Ayo Adejumo (vice chairman) Miss Bukola Olunloyo (General Secretary) Miss Abolore Oso (Assistant Secretary) and Mrs Funke Raheem (Treasurer). Others are Mrs Femi Olugbemi (Financial Secretary), Mrs Mariam Badmus (Auditor), Mr David Olawale (Public Relation Secretary), Mr Tolulope Tajelawi (Assistant Public Relation Secretary). Also elected are Mr Oso Daisi and Mrs Yemisi Alaka as Ex-officio members.

The immediate past chairman and commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State, Alhaji Anifowose Wasiu enjoined the new exco members to be steadfast, committed and improve on the records and achievements of the past administrations.

The new chairman, Mr. Kunle Salami promised to commence the construction of a 15-floor secretariat building of the chapter within Alausa Central Business District, Ikeja, and regular participation of the chapter at local and international meetings and workshops of town planners.

In this article:
Bamidele OpeyemiNITP
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