Stakeholders call for strict adherence to master plans
The stakeholders who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja last week, explained that lack of master plan could bring set back and severe housing challenges in the country.
Director, Initiative for the Support and Promotion of Human Shelter (ISPHS), Mr. Desmond Chieshe, noted that master plan was designed to guide urban and housing development.
Chieshe held that many cities lacked plans, adding that government should ensure that the cities had plans and that they were strictly followed.
He said government should be strict about the use of plan to develop cities. “Due to constant rural urban drift, it will be very difficult to manage the city if it is not well planned’’, he said.
Director, Heights of Hope: Centre for Women and Children Development, (HHCW&CD), Mrs. Morenike Babalola contended that master plans in the country were obsolete.
“The master plans need to be reviewed, many cities have no master and structural plans, these are the things that guide development.’’
She urged government to be more proactive in creating a synergy to ensure functional cities.
She said Abuja would not be able to absorb the type of pressure Lagos was able to absorb if care was not taken.
Babalola recalled that Lagos was regarded as a congested city which prompted the movement of the administrative capital of Nigeria to Abuja. “Lagos is running over a century and Abuja is about 35 years. If you give Abuja another 70 years and if we are not conscious of the planning, it may not be able to absorb the problems and challenges being faced by Lagos state.
“It is so because the infrastructure that is supposed to be in place in Abuja since 2000 had not yet been completed. We are supposed to be in phase five development up to airport down to satellite towns.
“But we are still developing phase two whereas the infrastructure in phase one is already dilapidating’’, Babalola said.
She attributed this development to the dwindling resources the government could offer.
She said proper planning and coordination by government would correct the lapses.
A building and civil engineer, Chief John Uyi, also advised the government to be consistent in the usage of the master plan.
Uyi said the issue of new government coming up with its own plan and discarding the old one had negative effect on the system.
Secretary-General of the Nigerian Urban Forum, Mr. Onibokun Abimbola, also told NAN that the government should ensure that all Nigerian towns and cities utilised master plan.
Abimbola said ensuring the utilisation of the master plan in the country would aid urbanisation and global competitiveness.