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Planners call on government to domesticate New Urban Agenda

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has called on the Federal Government to domesticate the components of the New Urban Agenda.The 23rd National President of NITP, Mr Lekwa Ezutah, made the call while delivering an assurance speech at his investiture in Abuja.

The New Urban Agenda was adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito Ecuador, on Oct. 20, 2016. It was endorsed by the UN General Assembly at its 68th plenary meeting of the 71st session in December 2016 to respond to challenges being faced by cities.

The agenda will guide the efforts of nations, cities and regional leaders, funders of international development and UN programmes for the next 20 years to achieve sustainable urban development.

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Ezutah said that, if well planned and managed, urbanisation could be a powerful tool for sustainable development for both developing and developed countries.

“I call on the Federal Government to specially and urgently pay attention to making efforts at the domestication of the components of the agenda,’’ the new NITP boss said.

Ezutah, who is also a Special Assistant to the Abia State Governor on Urban Development, urged the Federal Government to adopt the content of the Earth Charter.

The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century inspiring in people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of human family.

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According to the expert, government should ensure that the town planners are an integral part of its political agenda to enhance the chances of success.

He promised that the new management would reform the national secretariat of the institute, grow membership, improve and strengthen the professional competence of members and increase awareness.

“No form of growth, including the recently inaugurated economic growth and recovery programme of the Federal Government is sustainable in the absence of physical planning.

“This is because all economic investments depend on land to produce and when such thoughts are not located rationally in harmony with one another, chaos and anarchy become the order,’’ he noted.

He further said that from experience, countries with robust physical planning programmes had grown faster and developed more sustainably.

According to him, the most outstanding of such experience is Singapore.

Also, Dr Omede Idris, in a remark urged professionals to rise to occasions in the political field and facilitate in the process of redirecting the economy, national engagement and development of our collective good.

“Professionals have a responsibility to stimulate the growth of the economy and productivity in the right direction.“Government on her part should value professionals as partners in progress for the common good of the people,’’ he added.

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