NITP advises govt on physical planning

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners has urged the Federal Government and other levels of government to prioritise physical planning in order to avoid future problems.

Nathaniel Atebije, National President of NITP, stated this recently at the 9th edition of the lecture series named after a former president of the institute and former chairman of the African Planning Association, Waheed Kadiri, which was held in Abeokuta.

Atenije and other stakeholders advised the incoming president to focus on physical development planning.

According to him, the country can only progress if the physical planning problem is solved.

The national president, who argued that Nigeria was not a developing country, bemoaned the fact that the country remained stagnant despite Nigerians' efforts.

"Nigeria has made a lot of efforts, but there has been no progress," he explained. It's still going around in circles. Nigeria is immobile. It is at a standstill.

"I'm not being negative. It is not pessimistic; it is not derogatory; it is simply the reality of what is happening. In terms of economic growth, environmental development, and physical development, we would have advanced far beyond where we are now.

"Governments have tried to bring out the infrastructure they can develop over the years, from the first National Development Plan to the fifth and up to the rolling plans."

Thinking about infrastructure, he claims, is not the same as physical planning. "Physical Planning should give birth to the infrastructure you require, and because the government has considered infrastructure without a physical plan, everything has become unrealistic," he asserted.

Prof Sherifdeen Tella, a professor of Economics at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, stated on the theme of the annual lecturer series, "There is nexus between physical plan and national plan."

Tella, who bemoaned the country's disorganisation, contended that Nigeria can only be a better place with a better economy if everything is planned.

According to him, many Nigerians are suffering due to a lack of adequate national planning.

He went on to say that focusing more on physical planning would alleviate or eliminate hardship in the country.

"Look at the United States of America; they are well organised," he said. Their market is well-organized, and everyone moves freely. But take a look at Nigerian markets, streets, and roads; nothing is in order; everything is disorganised.

"However, focusing more on physical planning would aid in the restructuring of the country. The Physical Plan remains an essential component of a national plan, but it can also stand alone. It has to do with the identification and utilisation of spatial resources."

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