Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge, has said that most of the cities in the country lacked adequate town planning laws and building codes.
Azinge stated this yesterday at a roundtable event on urban and town planning in Abuja.
He said: “I have truly wondered apart from Abuja whether there is any other city in this country that is planned. Whatever you see in most instances does not suggest a planned environment.”
The event which had the theme: “Urban Planning in the Eyes of Climate Change,” drew experts and stakeholders across the country to deliberate on how best to tackle the problem.
Experts were unanimous in their submissions that the problem of poor urban and town planning was caused by lack of adherence to town planning laws and regulations by Nigerians.
According to Architect Philip Iyortyer, who was the lead presenter at the occasion, “policy implementation is the bane of efficient urban and town planning in Nigeria, over 50 per cent houses in Abuja are wrongly built; people put up structures without approved building codes.”
He noted that the country was one of the environmental disaster centres in the world and advised Nigerians to design their buildings in line with the peculiar environmental needs of the area in question.
Dr. Emmanuel Okon, in his presentation, argued that the country had adequate laws on urban and town planning lacked adequate implementation of such existing laws, and called for adequate enforcement of the laws and awareness creation amongst the populace.
For Dr. Theresa Ilegbune, the cities in the country were planned, but the implementation of master plans was problematic, and advocated for public participation in urban planning and development.
Azinge pledged the institute’s commitment to capture all the suggestions made by participants for onward transmission to the appropriate authorities to aid policy formulation.