The Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Lagos State Chapter, has called on the state government to decentralise town planning by involving local governments.
The ATOPCON President, Mr Olaide Afolabi, made the call in Lagos on Thursday.
Afolabi said that it had become necessary to have a more responsive planning system in the state.
He said that decentralisation was vital because of the increased rate of illegal erection of structures in the state.
Afolabi said that decentralisation of town planning process would discourage people from erecting such structures.
“We are working toward improved planning practice in Lagos State so that things will be done in an orderly manner, and there will be less illegal developments.
“We want the government to make planning easier and more transparent; a lot of people will benefit from this instead of having illegal developments and government chasing illegal developers with scarce resources.
“Let planning be decentralised and local governments be given the power to be involved in issuing planning permits,’’ he said.
Afolabi said that there were a number of challenges facing town planning in the state.
“There is always a gap between the regulator and the regulated.
“There is too much bureaucracy at the level of the government.
“We want a more responsive physical planning system in the state,” he said.
Afolabi expressed the optimism that decentralisation of town planning process would erase the bottlenecks associated with issuing planning permits.
He said that it was improper to delay issuance of planning permits for months and sometimes years after submission of applications.
“If one wants a development permit, there is no reason he should not get it within few weeks, but a lot of people take months or years to get it done and they accumulate debt because they borrowed for the project,” he added.