From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The National Institute of Town Planners (NITP), has explained that the non enforcement of the National Urban and Regional Planning Law has affected the country’s development.
NITP’s National President, Olutoyin Ayinde Ayinde, who stated this at a press conference at the weekend in Abuja, noted that without physical planning, flood and other natural disaster would affect the economic fortunes of the country.
“NITP appeals to all governments in Nigeria, from the federal to the state, to implement the National Urban and Regional Planning Law.
“The reality about physical planning is that we either plan or perish,” he said.
He added: “The Nigerian nation has not given physical planning the attention it deserves and this continues to limit the development potentials of the nation.
“Many times the emphasis has been on economic planning, neglecting its physical reality, which is physical planning.
“There is a nexus between economic planning and physical planning, but this clearly is not understood by those at the helm of affairs.
“The earlier this is given priority the better so that we can salvage our environment.”
He continued: “You will all recall that the National Urban and Regional Planning Law was promulgated as a decree in 1992, and became part of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the year 2004.
“The law prescribes the various hierarchies of plans meant to be prepared at federal, state and local levels, with the relevant institutions to ensure the success of the implementation of the Law.
“It was required also that every state of the federation would domesticate the Law to enhance physical planning and human settlements development in the states and local areas.
“The experience is that the framework at the federal level is yet to be implemented, while the preparation of the national physical development plan is still a dream.
“The states too have different outcomes, which can be classified into a number of categories.
“It is important to state that none is perfect yet, but they are definitely not at the same levels of compliance.”