The National President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Nathaniel Atebije, has urged the Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government to create a Ministry of Physical Planning.
He said the creation of the ministry would improve the quality of the environment, which he claimed, “is currently akin to the jungle in which prosperity remains a mirage, due to the lip service being paid to the physical planning of the nation.”
Atebije made this call in Abuja on Monday during his quarterly press conference.
He further urged the ruling All Progressives Congress party government to stay true to its campaign promise by ensuring full compliance with town planning, environmental laws, and edicts.
This was as he decried the environmental damages caused by ocean surges, noting that it is due to a lack of proper physical planning.
He also noted that the hiring of foreign experts to handle the country’s Geographical Information System could lead to a national security breach.
Atebije said, “We urge the APC-led Federal Government to set up institutions to implement the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law enacted about 30 years ago such as the National Physical Planning Commission to embark on the preparation of national physical plan.
“We also call on the federal government again, to restructure its agencies and create a single Ministry of Physical Planning rather than it being an appendage to other ministries.”
He noted that the new administration seems to have a good start, adding that the NITP looks forward to effective and purposeful leadership.
“I listened to the inaugural address of the president with loads of hope and appreciation. There seems to be a focus. But the focus needs some level of trimming to ensure we get our priorities right.
“The president spoke profusely on security, economy, job creation, agriculture, infrastructure, monetary policy, foreign policy, and other matters. Such lofty dreams have been shared in the past but they went unfulfilled because of lack of planning.
“I reiterate that all the listed activities take place on available land; and unless there is a plan of where such projects are to be located, the best of the investments may not be realised. We should bear in mind that land is fixed and demands on it expand every day. To ensure that the right project is in the right place at the right time, town planners must be engaged as consultants to plan our settlements and manage them,” he said.