From: LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Stakeholders in regional and urban planning have identified weak institutions, unprofessional conduct s and obsolete laws as causes of slums, haphazard developments and distortions of urban development plan in Kwara State.
The stakeholders made these submissions at an all inclusive public hearing organised by the Kwara State House of Assembly, in Ilorin, on the Town and Country Planning and Development Bill 2016 and Urban and Regional Planning and Development Bill 2017, pending before it.
They equally resolved to adopt what they referred to “advocacy in planning” whereby land owners in certain circumstances will have a say in change of use of landed properties, adding that the State needed reflective planning practice to salvage it from encroachment of slums,
The stakeholders expressed optimism that the separation of the Development Control Agency and Physical Planning Authorities would greatly assist the State in overcoming its developmental challenges
They also resolved that appointees as Chief Executive for the two agencies should be professional that would be subjected to the confirmation of the State House of Assembly to ensure efficiency of the Agencies.
They also suggested that government departments should operate in unity, which, according to them, would augur well for the wellbeing of physical planning in the state.
The Speaker, Dr. Ali Ahmad, while declaring the public hearing open, blamed the Town Planning and Development Authority and weak laws on the developmental challenges bedeviling the state and expressed confidence that the bills when passed into law, would properly address the problem.
Dr. Ahmad recalled the efforts of the Eighth Legislature in checking proliferation of filling stations in residential areas and other environmental and developmental problems, saying that the Legislature would continue to be the mouth piece of the people, even in the face of intimidation.
He noted with concern that Kwara state and Ilorin in particular are facing developmental challenges and expressed the determination of the House in ensuring that the state is better than they met it, saying that the House is the reflection of the will of the people of the state.
Among the stakeholders that delivered position papers at the public hearing were the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Nigerian Labour Congress, Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union, Town Planners Registration Council of Nigerian, Nigerian Institute of Surveyors, and relevant government agencies.