From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The Nation Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has blamed state governments for poor city planning and springing up of slums in major cities across the country.
The National President of the Institute, Olutoye Ayinde, made this known in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, during a tour of the state.
Ayinde, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, said approval of buildings is a pedestrian aspect of the work of a town planner, stressing that building plans were meant to be within the framework of development plans for any settlement.
“Each city is supposed to have master plans which are policy statements of government, but what we have had is that the various levels of plans that are supposed to have been done, were left undone and this is not the making of the town planners, it is the making of government”.
The NITP President noted that it was only government that takes leadership in making the plans because it has what he called the power of eminent domain.
“Government has the power of eminent domain, it is only her that can take over someone’s land for overriding public interest and that is why government must take responsibility for preparing those plans that will make building plans make sense.
“It is government that dictates the pace of how cities grow, they make policy for public housing, so, when there is a gap, like we have in Nigeria, every citizen is left to self help,” Ayinde said.