For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

Uphold  Your Integrity: NITP Tasks Members

***Says, Poor Character Endangering Profession

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja.

As part of efforts aimed at repositioning the National Institute of Town Planning, NITP, the national leadership of the professional body has charged its members to make integrity their watchword.

National President of NITP, Mr. Nathaniel Atebije, who gave the charge at an interactive session with Planners in the management cadre of the body, said there was a need for a critical reform of their images and perception as professionals before members of the public.

The session which was co-sponsored by the African International Housing Show/Housing Development Advocacy Network, AIHS/HDAN in Abuja, on Thursday, witnessed members come together to marshall the way forward through content analysis and reasoning together towards addressing some of the challenges facing members in the field of Urban and Regional Planning, particularly in the FCT as well as exploring available opportunities.

Atebije said; “Having been part of the system in the FCT, I know we have a lot of challenges related to our image, ranging from capacity, integrity, equipment, political will, poor funding and other institutional problems.

“Individually and collectively, we are faced with the problem of character, attitude, corruption poor remuneration, and other vices.

“The impact of these on our public image is numerous, to the extent that the public does not trust us. We have become hated and endangered among other professionals,” he said.

The President recalled that members have been beaten up, stripped naked, publicly disgraced, and embarrassed countlessly in the process of carrying out their professional duties.

He also lamented the non-recognition of Town Planners saying that no Town Planner had been deemed fit to be honoured nationally or have a street named after them.

In his words; “Even institutionally, we are endangered, we have been denied recognition. Not even a street in the FCT was named after any Town Planner and whether it is accepted or not, town planners made Abuja what it is today, even if it has not met the ideals, dreams, and aspirations of Nigerians. Without Town Planners, it would have been worse”

The national President thanked the leadership of the FCT for giving them a location for the National Secretariat, which he said came more or less as an afterthought, carved out of a Green Area, and urged members to seek partnership towards developing the site.

In his remarks, honourary member of the Institute and co-sponsor of the event,  Festus Adebayo, who is also the CEO of AIHS/HDAN, confirmed the many issues raised by the national president thus, urged members to take advantage of the Green Area to accommodate the climate drive by the International Finance Corporation, IFC and the World Bank.

Adebayo, a lawyer by profession and also the manager of the International Housing Show in Nigeria, said he is passionate about promoting anything housing through the housing show programme aired on AIT, TVC. 

Noting that town planning was the first profession of the almighty God, Adebayo charged members of the NITP to refuse to be used by corrupt individuals who continue to bring the profession into disrepute.

He charged the Control and Urban Planning cadres, to bring their expertise to bear by supporting the leadership of the body, both in the FCT and nationally.

The CEO who restated his commitment to support the professional body through knowledge sharing, gave a waiver to all members willing to participate in the International Housing Show, set to commence from July 24 to 27 at the International Conference Center, Abuja.

He was also co-opted into the NITP development body, charged with the development and building of the NITP National Secretariat.

Speaking on behalf of other directors, the Director, Development Control of the FCT, Town Planner, Muktar Galadima, said that the body was faced with several challenges that were either self-created or imposed.

He listed the challenges faced by the members including land grabbing, unapproved developments, conversions of land use, and police/judicial interference among others.

He, therefore, called for collaboration between the various cadre, advocacy, and undertaking of comprehensive surveys and citizen engagement to help the body achieve its desired mandate.

The various cadre of the body includes Urban and Regional Planning, Development Control, Resettlement and Compensation, Works, and Housing as well as the Federal Housing Authority among others.

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