The Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) challenged practitioners to improve their services and ensure a livable environment for Lagosians.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, led the charge during the 2022 Annual General Meeting of the Lagos State branch of ATOPCON, on the theme “Enhancing the Practice of the Urban and Regional Planning Profession in Lagos State”.

Salako said state planners should be more proactive, professional and ethical and be pragmatic in their approach to physical planning and urban development.

He urged them to speak out on policies and tap into government programs with the aim of improving urban governance, stressing that the government would welcome their professional contributions.

According to Salako, planners should consider offering pro bono services to government and call for collaboration between public and private sector practitioners.

The Managing Director of MOA Planners Limited and the representative of the Nigerian Planners Registration Council of Lagos State (TOPREC), Mr. Moses Ogunleye said that there has been a lot of development in town planning, adding that the improvement of practice required that consulting planners appreciate the value of the profession.

According to him, planning advice can be profitable and pay the bills of practitioners. Ogunleye wants companies to run their operations like companies that can compete with the best in other states and countries when it comes to service delivery.

According to him, for successful practice, the profession requires extensive cooperation, collaboration and understanding between the public and private sectors.

“Skills in management, communication, negotiation, human and public relations, including marketing are relevant for companies and individual consultants. Consultant planners cannot afford to act or operate as non-professionals. Knowledge, skills, abilities and integrity must be continuously displayed by companies and practitioners. »

He noted that consultant planners cannot afford not to embrace the phenomenal change that information, communication and technology (ICT) has brought to the land-use planning sector.

ATOPCON President Muyiwa Adelu encouraged practitioners to work with state authorities in chronicling areas, which have yet to get layout approval to ensure they are doing the right thing.

“It also means that our businesses will have more work to do, while we generate more revenue for the state, help the environment and fight against the growth of slums. It’s time we build on the success of the Land Use Planning and Analysis Report (LUPAR) and start advocating for all developers to follow state guidelines,” he said.

Earlier, the President of ATOPCON, Lagos State Branch, Dr. Kola Olayiwola explained that the theme reflects the purpose and objectives of the founding fathers of ATOPCON, who believed in ensuring professional practice dynamics of urban planning in the most ethical and professional manner.