Decentralise planning, ATOPCON tells LASG


The Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria, Lagos State branch, has called on the state government to decentralise town planning process by involving local government authorities.The Chairman, ATOPCON, Lagos branch, Mr. Omotayo Awomosu, stated this at the association’s 2017 Annual General Meeting, saying that it had become necessary to have a more responsive planning system in the state.He said, “We are working towards improved planning practice in Lagos State so that things will be done in an orderly manner and there will be less of illegal developments. We want the government to make planning easier and more transparent; a lot of people will benefit from this instead of having illegal developments and government chasing illegal developers with scarce resources.

“Planning should be decentralised and the local governments should be given power to be involved in issuing planning permits. There are a lot of challenges facing planning in the state; there is always a gap between the regulator and the regulated. There is too much bureaucracy at the level of the government. We want a more responsive physical planning system in the state.”Awomosu stated that the state government should have gone past the stage of delaying the issuance of planning permits for months and sometimes years after applications had been submitted.“If one wants a development permit, there is no reason why he should not get it within a few weeks, about two to three weeks. A lot of people take months or years to get it done and they accumulate debt because they had borrowed for the project,” he said.

The ATOPCON President, Mr. Olaide Afolabi, said there was a need for town planners to reenergise in view of the challenges they were facing in their practice.A past President of the association, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, who delivered a lecture on ‘Business model for cutting edge consultancy practice in town planning’, said one of the duties of consultants was to provide advice to individuals and the government.He stated that consultancy practice, particularly in town planning, should not be operated as if it was not within the global business setting.Ogunleye said, “Whatever the business model a firm adopts, there is a need for review, evaluation and refinement of same in order for it to serve the intended purpose.“Firms must also run their operations as business with a value of a going concern with the best in other countries in service delivery

Published May 1, 2017 – Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

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