Politicians, Not Utilising Full Benefits of Planners Advice -Awomosu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Politicians, Not Utilising Full Benefits of Planners Advice -Awomosu

Posted: Mar 29, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Tpl Omotayo Awomosu is the newly elected Lagos State chapter chairman of the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON). In this interview with NKASIOBI OLUIKPE, he speaks on various issues bothering on town planning in Nigeria. Excerpts:


What are the implications of politicising town planning?

Town Planning is famously described as the hand maiden of politics. Town planners usually operate as advisers to the political class who are the decision makers. As advisers, they are expected to focus on the technical issues of allocating societal resources in the most efficient manner. This technical role allows them to recommend courses of action to the decision makers – the politician.

What we observe on a day to day basis is that the decision makers – the politician are not taking the full benefits of the planner’s advice because they have different priorities and depend on different sets of advisers.  In a politically charged environment, the technical issues that feature prominently in the planners calculations frequently take the back seat. The result is that the powerful groups are favoured, while others are neglected. This is evident in our cities with a few upscale neighborhoods and countless slums where the majority of people live. The result is the misallocation of resources and the attendant consequences.

NITP was constituted in 1966 when most Nigerian cities were not in existence, yet a good number of cities in the country are said not to be planned. Was the NITP asleep to its responsibilities or shortsighted?

Town planning is a government function. Hence, the primary responsibility for town planning is vested in the different levels of government. The apparent poor planning of many of our cities reflect the failures of government in carrying out their constitutional duties. Over the years, NITP has been advocating for the various levels of government to take their constitutional duties more seriously by investing in planning our towns and cities. It has been consistent in making the case for preparation and implementation of master plans, infrastructure plans etc., for our cities. It is obvious that cries from professional organizations like NITP alone will not bring about the necessary change. I think the obvious benefits of living in a planned and functional environment should persuade the mass of Nigerians to join NITP in pressurizing the various levels of government to be alive to its duties and invest in planning and re-planning our towns and cities.



At what point does a town planner come in, in infrastructure development?

The town planner is a key facilitator of construction. He is involved from the conception and planning stage. Infrastructure such as roads, water etc. typically originates from a plan prepared by the town planner.


How long does it take for a state to review its Master plan and how are the states in Nigeria complying with this?

A master plan is long range plan guiding the development of a spatial entity, usually a town or city. At the level of the state, you have a regional plan. All plans have stated goals and objective. They are premised on some assumption or projections. These projections are about societal dynamics and as such are subject to change over time. Because of this, plans are to be subjected to review at interval of 5 years. But what we have in Nigeria today is that plan reviews are not carried out as at when due.



Court Grants Lekki Gardens Boss Bail

Nkasiobi Oluikpe, Lagos

Mr. Richard Nyong, Managing Director of Lekki Gardens and Taiwo Odofin, one of the contractors that supervised the collapsed five storey building, were last Thursday granted bail on personal recognizance by an Ebute Metta Chief Magistrate Court, presided over by Folashade Botoku, in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

According to the Magistrate, the sureties are to be of good standing with verifiable evidences of tax payment.  The court also ordered the duo to report to the police between the hours of 8am to 5 pm every working day and to deposit their international passports and should not travel abroad during the pendency of the matter.

In her ruling on the two separate bail applications filed by the applicants, the Magistrate found merits on the applications saying it was within the jurisdiction of the court to admit the defendants to bail.

She also took notice of the prosecution’s submission that the applications were not properly filed noting that there was nothing to show from the prosecution that the defendants will not attain trial or interfere in police investigation.

In admitting the applicants to bail, the court noted that Nyong is a law abiding citizen without criminal antecedent.

“He is also a managing director of a firm, with about 8, 000 employees, who is ready to attend trial and his disposition to an affidavit that he will not interfere with investigation  has not been  controverted or challenged  by the prosecution.

“The most important consideration in admittance to bail, the court noted is the attendance of trial, of which the prosecution has no evidence to contradict,” the court added.

The Magistrate held that having gone through the facts of the case, it was in the interest of justice for the application to be granted, as there was merit in it.

Further hearing on the matter has been adjourned till April 12.




OAU Estate Management Alumni Holds 2016 Reunion, Honours Aluko

Nkasiobi Oluikpe, Lagos


The year 2000 graduates of Estate Management Department of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife held its first reunion to celebrate their 16 years of excellence in different spheres of life.

The event, tagged Class 2000 Reunion and celebrated in grand style in Lagos, was held last Saturday at Kingsize Lounge located on Oregun Road in Ikeja.

In his welcome address Olakunle Olayiwola, coordinator of the Reunion, said the gathering is a unique opportunity for members to celebrate, rub minds together and discuss latest estate valuation and allied professional trends around the world while the event is also an opportunity to chart a roadmap for the group.

“This is our first reunion meeting after graduating from Great Ife and majority of the members of the Reunion will use the opportunity to network, reconnect with each other for the first time in 16 years. We also decided to invite one of the illustrious lecturers of the Department of Estate Management as our special guest of honour because of his immense contributions to the development of the profession”, he said

The guest of honour at the gathering, Professor Bioye Tajudeen Aluko, the Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, reflected on the opportunities given to the Year 2000 Class of the Estate Management Department.

“I am glad today that quite a number of these young career professionals have been very creative while defying conventional estate management practice which has helped them to excel in different careers and spheres of life in the last couple of years,” Aluko said.

The Faculty Dean, who honoured the alumni group with his distinguished presence as lecturer and role model, expressed joy at the honour done him and thanked the Graduate Class of Year 2000 for inviting him for the reunion cocktail. He also thanked them for their contributions to reward excellence and service by acting as positive change agents for the promotion and projection of the image of their Alma Mata.