NITP seeks autonomy for FCT’s physical planning directorate

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has urged the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to grant autonomy to the Directorate of Physical Planning for better performance and effective service delivery.

NITP President, Chief Lekwa Ezutah, made the request when he led the team on a courtesy call to FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tiijani Aliyu in Abuja.

Ezutah said: ‘’While appreciating the efforts at creating the Directorate of Physical Planning in FCT Satellite Towns Development Department  (STDD), we believe that a full autonomy as a department would enable us exercise our functions instead of being subsumed under the Directorate of Engineering Services of the STDD.”

According to him, “FCT is in dire need for planners at all levels to facilitate organised development and achievement of the intents of the New Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the provisions of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law.

“We are recommending an aggressive manpower hunt for professional planners into the services of FCTA, provide adequate equipment for enforcement and improve the capacity of planners through training and retraining programmes either locally or international programmes.  

Ezutah, however, pledged the institute’s readiness to assist the administration in providing affordable housing for rural dwellers in the Federal Capital Territory.  

Responding, the Minister of State, assured members of the institute, that efforts would be made for improved budgetary provisions in the 2021 budget in view of the critical roles town planners play through review and implementation of physical plans for satellite towns, urban renewal, and other levels of planning interventions.  

Aliyu, stressed that recent flooding in most parts of the territory could have been avoided, if town planners were actively engaged in the physical planning of satellite towns and settlements.  

The minister who is also a town planner frowned at the conflicts of roles between planners, engineers and other allied professionals, saying, “This is an era to redefine the essence of town planning in Nigeria”.  

Her words: “How can town planning not be given prominence and engineering takes precedence? This is what we faced as a professional body. The flooding, which is unexpected is as a result of neglecting town planners. Perhaps, it is an opportunity for town planners to sit together and see how they can salvage the situation.  

“However, in the FCT and with the approval of the FCT Minister, we have set up an adhoc committee of town planners to go round the city to see what has been done and what is left undone. This is because if we continue to do the same thing again and again, we should not expect different result.

“I can tell you proudly that in the past, powers were usurped and the realities are now telling on us. This is an era to redefine the essence of town planning in Nigeria”.  

She appealed to members of the National Assembly to assist the profession for improved budgetary provisions for the implementation of physical plans for satellite towns and urban management.

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