Naomi Gabriel —
The newly-elected 14th Chairman of the FCT Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mrs Lami Ayuba last Tuesday in Abuja, said the institute will review the 43 year old unreviewed Abuja Masterplan in order to address issues of land grabbing, double allocations, fake layouts and others.
Ayuba said that her tenure would focus on advancing the town planning profession as well as advocate for policies and actions that would address the various planning problems in the FCT.
“My vision is to advance the town planning profession and advocate for policies and actions that will address the planning problems in the FCT to make Abuja a liveable and inclusive city, she stated.
“The FCT is among the well-planned cities in Nigeria; from inception, the Abuja masterplan provided a blueprint for the development of the FCT.
“While planning has determined the direction of growth and expansion of the city, new problems have emerged which requires a continuous review and upgrade of growth and management policies by urban development.
“Some of the planning problems in the 43 years non-reviewed plans are land grabbing, especially within the regional areas, double allocations, fake layouts, overlapping layouts, unapproved developments which later resulted in eviction or demolition.
“Cloning of land documents, multiple allocations for a single park resulting into various court cases, land use conversations putting pressure on existing facilities and infrastructure.
“Also, absence of bus stops and laybys along intracity road networks, thus creating unnecessary traffic and delays, growth of informally congested settlements along the city fringe and others”, Ayuba added.
She said that the institute would review the 43-year masterplan and address the prevalence of uncompleted houses and undeveloped plots within the city centre which served as hideouts for criminal elements.
Ayuba said that the absence of a standard intra-city mass transit system, absence of a sustainable accessible and affordable housing plan for residents have led to the rapid growth of both planned and unplanned expensive estates.
She added that poor waste management, especially in the markets and satellite towns, were also issues her administration would seek to address.
The NITP boss said that she would explore strategies such as public enlightenment on town planning principles, processes and procedures through various media platforms.
She also said her administration would engage the FCT authorities through advocacy actions to push for policies that would promote fair play and good urban governance.
“We would set up an advocacy desk at the chapter secretariat to provide interface that will address various planning issues affecting the residents of FCT.
“We would advocate for the necessary urban transformative actions to make Abuja a sustainable city,” she said.
Ayuba said that the FCT which was among the well planned cities in Nigeria would be revived to meet global capital city’s standards.
She said that the development of the FCT and its very easy-to-identify planning standards such as the beautiful separation of different land use zones, separation of building heights and densities would be restored.
She added that the application of building lines and setbacks, location of neighborhood facilities, creation of various planning administration departments would be visible.
Ayuba called for the support, motivation and prayers of FCT residents and relevant stakeholders to achieve her administration’s objectives.
She also called for the networking of other professionals in the city to advance the town planning profession and to create employment opportunities for town planners.
She promised to explore alternative sources of income for the NITP FCT chapter, organise workshops and capacity building and training of members and expedite the process of development of the new chapter secretariat.