Considering the country’s rapid population growth, Mr Olutoyin Ayinde, National President of the Nigerian Association of Urban Planners, urged the federal government to provide urban planners with adequate support to counter the threat of misplanning.

Aind held a week-long ceremony in Abuja that included the inauguration of 51 members, including seven women.

He said: “Lack of proper planning has been a major cause of some of the challenges our cities face, from climate change to flooding and other natural disasters, which the country is now facing.

“Nigeria’s only resource is land. In 1971, Nigeria’s population was 56 million, but more than 50 years later, we now have more than 200 million people on the same land. This poor planning has contributed to crises such as farmers and Landlord conflicts, community border conflicts, etc., the government needs to take appropriate action urgently.”

He also urged newly recruited fellows to be honest, humble and embracing what will lead to the development of the country.

“I urge you to be a case study for society; don’t sacrifice your career to destroy your country,” he said.

Attah Ikharo, Senior Special Assistant to the Federal Capital Territory Minister for Supervision, Inspection and Enforcement, said the FCT government is aiming to restore the city’s master plan with the help of the NITP.

He said: “Our aim is to restore the master plan of FCT. The city did not evolve on its own. People sat down in Lagos and planned it from the ground up as a new city. So ignore or undermine the founders’ plan for FCT. The planning effort and funding that went into it was wrong.

“However, some of the plans today are distorted. We need the support of the NITP to remove the distortion and restore the Abuja master plan.”

Mr. Mustapha Mudiwu, Chairman of the Abuja NITP, urged the selected fellows to refrain from any conduct that would damage their professional reputation.

Lami Ayuba, vice-president of Abuja NITP, said the institution exists to advance the science of urban planning and women should play an active role in it.

“The NITP exists to advance the science of planning for the national interest, and women should take the lead, not be backbenchers,” she said. “There is no discrimination against women here.”

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