Chief Goke Adediran is the first General Secretary, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and the only surviving member of the nine founding fathers of the institute. He spoke at a recent event in Ibadan to mark the 50th anniversary of the institute.
Joy of being recognised by the Oyo State chapter of NITP
I felt very happy and elated that such recognition is coming when I’m still alive. Sadly, out of the nine of us that birthed the organisation 50 years ago, I am the only member still alive. I dedicate this award to their memory.
Importance of NITP to Nigeria’s devt
Without proper planning, the society will be in chaos, same with town planning and development. In our own time, we were given the respect and recognition we deserved. We worked tirelessly to properly design and develop major cities in the country while in service. Well, it’s a long time that I’ve retired. For a while, the story we are hearing about the institute itself gave us some disappointment but suddenly it is instructive that our professional inputs have not been given enough publicity but I’m very happy that people now rally round to give the NITP its pride of place as an important professional body.
Why we established the institute
You see, what surprised us was that there were planning administrations established in the various provinces, but there was nobody integrating the profession itself to be able to enlighten the public about the usefulness of town planning. So this was what pushed us to initiate the body.
Changes I want to see in NITP
Well, people should be dedicated to the profession; they should develop interest in it and not only look at the remuneration alone. Many of our people, even in government, haven’t really understood the importance of town planning over all the other professions, because, for instance, when you want to build a house, after the surveyor, it’s the town planner that knows what facilities to be provided within that enclave.
The nickname as ‘last man standing’
You will recall that I also jokingly responded that thank God I’m not crawling and I will still be standing for a long time, by the grace of God!
Advice to present leadership of NITP
The National President is a motivator, he should try and motivate members so that they will show interest in attending meetings and paying their annual dues to be able to deliver on his mandate in taking the institute to greater heights.