By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Uba Sani’s administration will ensure that all towns and cities in the state have master plans that allow for planned development.
This is to ensure that cities and towns are fit for purpose for the greater good of the citizens of the state.
Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe stated this at the weekend, when she received the Executive Committee of the Northern Town Planners Forum when then they visited her in Government House Kaduna.
Dr. Balarabe explained that Kaduna State Government under Uba Sani believes that in ensuring that cities and towns are fit for purpose, there must be strong partnership between government, regulatory bodies, and professional associations, adding that the administration, therefore, remains committed to partnering and collaborating with professional bodies in the quest to developing the state for the greater good of the citizens.
She further explained that Kaduna State Government has designated 117 settlements as urban areas in addition to the existing 23 and has awarded contracts for the preparation of master plan for 19.
She added that one of the major areas of focus for the administration of Governor Uba Sani is infrastructure development.
“The governor has rolled out road constructions across the state, three have been flagged off and many more will be flagged off in the coming days. There are 32 roads to be constructed across the state.
“The previous government made considerable progress in executing the urban renewal programme and this administration will ensure the completion of all projects commenced.
“All these initiatives we hope, will provide an environment that is serene, aesthetically beautiful, and most importantly safe for pursuance of livelihoods, liberties and businesses,” she said.
She appealed to professional town planners to collaborate with government in sensitizing Nigerians on the critical importance of engaging the services of professionals when constructing or developing properties.
“I want to use this opportunity to assure you, of Kaduna State Government’s readiness to continue to deliver development to the people of the state in line with its governance agenda.
“I have listened to the presentation of the Chairman and the issues raised. These are issues the government will be happy to look into. The Kaduna State Government will be happy to receive a copy of your communique at the end of the conference to help guide its developmental plans going forward,” she said.
Earlier in his presentation, Barnabas Atiyaye, Chairman, Northern Town Planners Forum, who said they were in Kaduna for their forum’s maiden annual conference, pointed that while governments in the south have come to terms with what physical planning can do in transforming their cities and rural areas, most of our governments in the North hardly appreciate the role of the physical planner.
He however, noted that, “Kaduna State stands as a role model and is absolutely on the right track and ahead of all its counterparts in respect to physical development in the North, apart from the FCT.
“Your Excellency, we are proud to note that as far as physical planning is concerned, Kaduna State is the best that has acknowledged the place and role of planning in sustainable development.
“It is obvious that the investment opportunities in tourism, agro-industry, livestock, real estate which is exemplified with the commissioning of 500,000 housing by Qatar meant for the less privileged residents in Kaduna and renewable energy, has been accentuated by the physical development plan that is in place.
“Undertaking Regional Development Plan for the state will certainly give clear intervention for the rural areas.
“Your Excellency, we are very much aware of the fact that you have placed physical planning on the front burner.
“The Northern Town Planners Forum identifies very much with your programme which you tagged, SUSTAIN.
“Some of your programmes such as to strengthen safety and security, upgrade Infrastructure particularly rural roads to boost economic activities, enhance trade and investment are clearly what a professional planner can significantly contribute towards its realization,” he said.
Atiyaye said as Northern Town Planners, their forum is embarking on a strategic advocacy with the intent of getting all the Northern governors to understand the necessity of urban and regional planning.
“We, therefore, appeal for your kind assistance, as a dynamic and respected Governor, to use your network to introduce us to the meeting of Northern Governors Forum, to reposition human settlements in Northern Nigeria,” he appealed.
He indicated readiness of the professional town planners to support Kaduna State Government in realizing the SUSTAIN agenda and recommended that the state government should vigorously engage town planners to manage the towns and cities in the state and be consulted in preparing regional development plan for the state as well as master plans for all the urban areas in the state.
He also advised the administration of Senator Uba Sani to organize a colloquium to discuss challenges related to the development of the state and how to re-direct it for benefits in addition to having trainings and retraining for town planners in the service of the state to produce professionals, technologists, and technicians to man relevant planning authorities.