During the 54th National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, President Bola Tinubu and Governor Sheriff Oborevwori emphasized the importance of town planners in addressing the impacts of climate change on communities.
They urged town planners to prioritize effective planning of towns and cities to mitigate these effects. Their statements were made separately on Tuesday in Asaba.
Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Housing and Urban Renewal, Architect Ahmed Dangiwa, said: “I am convinced that effective town planning remains an important tool in our effort as a government to contain and mitigate the challenges of climate change.”
The President noted: “Climate change is no longer a distant threat; it is a stark reality that confronts us every year and every day; the rising temperature, the table water patterns and more frequently severe floods around the world have become the norm rather than the exception.”
In his address delivered by Deputy Governor Monday Onyeme, Governor Oborevwori emphasized the importance of town planning officials and regulatory bodies adhering to town planning and urban development laws.
He urged them to strictly enforce these laws in order to prevent the need for demolishing buildings located on waterways and drainage channels. The Governor emphasized that such demolitions have detrimental effects on the economy and should be avoided at all costs.
“Our government is fully aware of its responsibilities to Deltans and we are facing them squarely by making our built environment more climate-resistant,” he noted.
During the recent conference at the Asaba Event Centre, Mr. Nathaniel Atebije, the National President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), highlighted the importance of addressing the issues of climate change, flood resilience, and finding effective mitigation measures. He specifically mentioned that as Delta is a coastal state, it stands to gain significant benefits from this program.
Moreover, Atebije called upon the state government to actively involve certified town planners from the Ministry of Urban Renewal in the execution of the master plan for towns and cities throughout the state. This collaboration would ensure meaningful engagement and the successful implementation of the master plan.
Wondering why the Federal Government is delaying the creation of the office of the Town Planner-General, Atebije said: “Utilisation of town planners is not enough; unfortunately, people don’t value them. They are not fully utilised, despite the fact that they are not sufficient. Before, the ratio of town planners was one to 3,000; today, the ratio is one to 200,000 people.”