The Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has maintained that its members are not to be blamed for the incessant building collapses in the state.
Adejumo, the outgoing state chapter chairman, while addressing journalists during its pre-AGM conference, explained that approving a building construction could be likened to the FRSC issuing a driving licence to a driver who chooses to drive recklessly, endangering and killing passengers on board. In such a situation, who is to be blamed, he asked.
“You can’t blame a town planner that has given a developer a permit. When he applies for a permit, he provides everything that is needed at the town planning office to process his approval. He gets an approval, goes to site, boycotts the approval requirements and does what he likes, is it the fault of the town planners?
“It is not the fault of the town planner that the developer is using quacks or substandard materials to build. Getting approval and not complying with the approval definitely will lead to collapse.”
Corroborating the state chairman, Bisi Adedire, immediate past chairman, laid the blame on the government, the public and the professionals.He maintained that the strength of construction materials now have depreciated as against what it used to be, citing rods as example.
He also spoke on quacks patronage and use of substandard building materials. He took a swipe at the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other sister agencies saddled with the responsibilities of certifying the quality of building materials.
“I can tell you categorically that if you compare the strength of the 20mm iron rod now, it is not as good as the 12mm that we used to have in the past.
“Considering the population of Lagos State and the amount of developments going on here, the government cannot do it alone. There is a need for the government to be able to engage the services of professional bodies to do the monitoring in every locality. You can even engage the services of CDAs who are at the grass roots and know what is happening around them.”
While streamlining some of the achievements of the outgoing excos, Adejumo disclosed that his administration was able to get the development permit for the proposed Lagos NITP secretariat.
According to him, they were able to work on the implementation of the Land Use Planning Analysis Report, which is one of the requirements for every development in Lagos State.
“We also started a radio programme that will project and promote the profession at the grass roots. We were able to add 102 new members registered with the institute. In addition to this, we also succeeded in collaborating with the Lagos State government on the employment of 70 town planning graduates into the Lagos State civil services.
“We were able to turnout the largest number of fellows. We had 13 fellows added to the number of fellows in the institute and many more.”
These, Adejumo remarked, are landmark achievements and the highest in recent times. (Independent)