... Solicits Government Support

By: Akamba Jude, CRS-MOI Officer reporting from Ministry of Urban Renewal&Dev..

Members of the  Nigerian Institute of Town Planners  (NITP)- Cross River State  Chapter, have restated their commitment to synergize with the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Development in support of the developmental agenda of Governor Ben Ayade's administration.

The Chairman of the Institute in Cross River State, TPL Dr. Ukam Leonard disclosed this in Calabar when he led the Chapter leadership on a courtesy visiit to the State  Commissioner for Urban Renewal and Development, Mr. Edward Emmanuel in his office recently.

TPL Ukam, said that the visit is on a dual capacity- to pledge the support of  the Institute to  Governor Ayade in the Town Planning affairs of the State, and to also highlight some of the Challenges faced by its members in the practice of their profession in the State.

The Chairman who had earlier congratulated Hon Edward on his new appointment, maintained that, the Commissioner,who is a seasoned professional in the building industry, is in the right place and the institute is solidly behind him, adding that, his appointment is the beginning of the best thing to come for Town Planners

Dr. Leonard, on behalf of the Institute, presented to the Commissioner a document which he stated will serve as a guide to the Ministry in the establishment of blueprint that will address the Town Planning challenges of the State.

In his remarks, TPL High Chief Archibong Archibong- Omon, frawned at the negligence of CRS Town Planners by the State government, stressing that, the non involvement of Town Planners in the Urban Renewal and developmental affairs of the State has led to the influx of quacks into the practice and this has frustrated the works of building professionals thereby making illegality to thrive.

High Chief Archibong also lamented that, the Institute which is supposed to serve as a tool for the regulation of building practices in the State is losing its voice because of its comatos .

He further informed that, as its  professional obligation to make Calabar greater, the Institute had forwarded series of letters to the Governor expressing its willingness to work with him in his aspirations to develope the State, and to also seek for an avenue to meet him so as to give him professional guide.

High Chief Archibong Omon lauded the Attorney General of the State and his fellow members of NITP in their efforts to guide Calabar in an orderly developmental pattern, enabling the public hearing of the Institute possible and making the bill that is Urban development friendly, to be passed  into law in line with the guidelines that correspond with  artistic laws. 

He also expressed the hope that State Sir Ben Ayade, will sign the bill into Law and as well change the architecture of the Task Force that will fit into the requirements of  'Town Planning' as a profession, maintaining that, the Commissioner is well placed by God to help the institute solve its problems.

High Chief Archibong-Archibog expressed disapproval over the Nigerian Navy's intention of constructing a Five Star hotel close to the Governor's Office, notng that it defies all professional logics and NITP as a professional body, are fully behind the Governor to say 'no' to the development. 

In his response, the Commissioner for Urban Renewal and Town Planning, Hon. Edward Emmanuel, expressed delight over the visit and the honor accorded him by the Institute stating that he had looked forward to this day and he feels more confident and motivated because of the Calibre of people he had seen as members of NITP.

The Commissioner avered that, Urban Renewal and Development needs the professional support of Town Planners,  adding that, Town Planning as a profession is wider than what people outside the profession assume it tp be and his full realization of this fact, has made him to love the profession more because of his penchant for architectural designs.

"I want to thank the  Governor,Sir (Prof.) Ben Ayade because he has so much in line for Town Planners. His Excellency has traveled very wide and he knows fully well that Town Planners cannot be neglected in the Urban renewal and development activities of the State", Hon Edward assured.

The Urban Renewal Commissioner informed that, the Governor through the Ministry of New Cities Development, has approved the construction of four (4) new cities in the State  and this will require the services of Town Planners for the layouts and opening of the roots for construction of the Cities.

The Commissioner further debunked the perception by some people that the Governor's establishment of a Task Force to look into the building activities in  the State is  a deliberate act to jeopardizing the practices of Town Planners in the State, adding that, the Task Force is meant to serve as a watchdog to checkmate fraudulent building practices which had led to leakages in revenue generation .

Hon Edward assured  them of his presence at the upcoming conference of the Institute,promising to channel their complaints to the State Governor for necessary action 

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