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By: Ifedayo Ogunyemi
The Nigerian Institute Of Town Planners (NITP) has urged the whomever emerges as Nigeria’s next president to focus more on physical planning for the development of the country.
NITP National president, Nathaniel Atebije, stated this during the ninth edition of Waheed Kadiri Lecture Series held at the Waheed Kadiri House, NITP Ogun State Secretariat, Abeokuta, Ogun State, adding that it is only when physical planning problem is solved that the country can progress.
While noting that the only government that respected physical planning is the military government, he said, “Nigeria has made a lot of efforts, there is no progress. Despite its efforts, it is still moving in circles. Nigeria is not moving, it’s stagnant.
“This is not being negative, It’s not being pessimistic, it’s not being derogatory, but the reality of what is happening. We would have gone far beyond where we are, in terms of economic growth, environmental development and physical development.
“Over the years, from the first National Development plan, to the fifth one, and up to the rolling plans, governments have been trying to bring out the infrastructure they can develop.
“But thinking about infrastructure, it’s not equivalent to physical planning. Physical Planning should give birth to the infrastructure you need, and because government has been considering infrastructure without physical plan, everything became unrealistic.”
Also speaking, an economic lecturer at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Prof Sherifdeen Tella, noted that the lack of adequate national planning is the reason many Nigerians are in hardship, adding that focusing more on physical planning would reduce or eradicate hardship in the country.
He said, “However, focusing more on physical planning would help restructuring the country. Physical Plan remains an integral part of a national plan, though it can be a standalone document. It has to do with spatial resource identification and utilization.”
In the same vein, Waheed Kadiri, urged the government to hire and listen to professionals for their contribution to the nation’s growth.
He said, “Government officials should listen to professionals for the contribution to the nation’s growth, and professionals should not work in silence. We should be ready to work together, and we have a major for doing that.”