The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has called on the government, non-governmental organisations and experts in urban and regional planning to pay more attention to informal settlement dwellers across the country, with a view to making their communities liveable.

The call was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the NITP’s annual mandatory continuing professional development programme, which held in Osogbo, Osun State.

According to the town planners, there is a need for formulation of appropriate laws and regulations to govern urban environment and stem the growth of haphazard developments in Osun State and in Nigeria as a whole.

A lecturer and researcher at the University of Ibadan, Dr. Bolanle Wahab, was quoted to have said that urbanisation, rural and urban migration, urban growth, inequality, low cost housing stock, globalisation, high rents, non-proactive planning policies and inadequate personnel were some of the factors that help the development and growth of such settlements.

He added that the policies required to make such settlements liveable included formalisation of informal settlement policy and development of policies to address housing, transportation, settlement planning and management.

Wahab said the government should enable extant planning regulations and enforcement procedures to be reliable and accommodate informal settlements.

By Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

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