The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has expressed support for the call by the House of Representatives for the immediate review of the Abuja Master Plan in order to reflect the social, economic and demographic realities of contemporary times.
The President, NITP, Mr. Luka Achi, said the review of the master plan would address the demands and challenges of urbanisation in the Federal Capital Territory. Achi said there was a need to ensure that only town planning firms registered to practise in the country were consulted to get a functional and efficient master plan.
According to him, the master plan should have been reviewed before now in view of several changes that have taken place and the emerging requirements of the ever-growing FCT.
He said that in 1976 when the plan was prepared, the government did not expect that there would be security challenges such as Boko Haram insurgency or other forms of crises, including cattle rearing.
Achi also commended the Lagos State Government for the award of the Epe and Ikorodu master plans, as well as the Oshodi-Isolo Model City plan to town planners earlier in the year.
He also commended the government of Kaduna State for the 19 towns advertised for master planning and that of Nasarawa State for the development of master plans for Karu, Keffi and Lafia.
The NITP president also encouraged other states to emulate the Lagos, Kaduna and Nasarawa State governments, and called for wider stakeholder engagements in executing the plans, so as to secure the participation of the general public, which he said would make their implementation easier.
“The NITP, as a professional body, is ready to offer advice, assist and collaborate with the government on any physical planning issue in the country that will make the sustainability of Nigerian settlements achievable,” he said.
By Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi