The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) says only a people-oriented town planning will guarantee a sustainable physical national and regional development for the country.

The National President of NITP, Mr Luka Achi made the statement in Awka during a stakeholders’ town hall meeting organised to sensitise them on their role in physical town planning.

Achi said since the people were beneficiaries of all development activities, professional practice responsive to their needs could not evolve without their inputs.

He said the thrust of the institute’s activities had been to ensure good and professional service delivery both to the government and public.
“However, there are lots of misconceptions about town planning; a reason why the people and government are not compelled to key into physical planning.

“People must begin to appreciate and be part of town planning process, understand its benefits so that they can compel the political leadership to embark on physical development of settlements in line with plans,” Achi said.

The national president stressed that the institute was poised to building a synergy with the people and other allied professionals in building a friendly environment.

Achi was represented by Mr Lekwa Ezuta, the First National Vice President of NITP.

Also speaking, Mr Toyin Ayinde, Second National Vice President and Former Commissioner for Physical Planning, Lagos state, lamented the failure of political leaders and administrators to draw people-oriented master plans over the years.

“The problem has been the failure of planning and not necessarily the failure of town planners.

“The people should be aware of their environment and to be able to say this is what should happen in a particular environment.

“The first advantage is that when people have inputs, they take ownership of such projects and they will want to also ensure that it is implemented because it is their vision,” he said.

In his welcome address, the state chairman of NITP, Mr Joachin Ulasi, explained that the inaugural stakeholders’ meeting was a template for the institute to commence sensitisation on better ways to build environments.

Ulasi expressed the hope that the town hall meeting would improve administration of physical planning by government for an easier and more effective application and result.