Minister Advocates Environmental Protection

The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Honourable Abubakar Bawa Bwari has called on Fellows of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners to safeguard the environment for the purpose of attaining high quality sustainable settlements, that is livable, healthy, friendly and responsive to societal dynamics, in line with the Institute’s mission. He urged stakeholders saddled with the responsibility of providing environmental impact assessment to be mindful of their integrity and stick to the tenets of the profession.

Speaking at the Investiture Ceremony of Newly Elected Fellows of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, recently, held at NAF Conference Centre and Suites, he noted that in an effort to preserve the environment, the Ministry is collaborating with Ministry of Environment to shield local communities from the adverse effects of mining activities. Consequently, the Ministry issues mining license based on the consent and interest of local communities, where such operations are carried out.

The Minister expressed appreciation for being honored with the award and also congratulated other awardees, among whom, is the Governor of Taraba State, TPL. Ishaku Dickson Darius, reminding them that the award should spur the recipients to take the profession to greater heights. He assured he will support the efforts of the association to build a befitting Secretariat for the Institute.

In the same vein, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello, who was represented by Umar Shuaib, also felicitated with the Institute on the occasion and charged them to brace up to environmental challenges; ensure strict implementation of the guidelines and preservation of Abuja Master Plan; and also explore ways of enhancing town planning for the benefit of the citizenry and country.

The President of Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC), TPL. (PROF) Layi Egunjobi, in his good will message at the occasion, congratulated the Fellows of NITP and urged them to apply their vast knowledge and skills to advance the course of town planning profession in order to meet the expectations of the Nigerian people and government at all levels.

In their addresses, the Chairman of the occasion, the former National House of Assembly Speaker, Honourable Umar Ghali Na’aba, National President of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, TPL. Luka Achi, (FNITP), Chairman of the College of Fellows, NITP, TPL. Chief Andrew Maduku, (FNITP, PPNITP), Chairman of Fellows’ Selection Committee, NITP, TPL. Chief Donatus Obialo (FNITP, PPNITP), who was represented by TPL. Makinde, Chairman Investiture Planning Committee, TPL. Barnabas Atiyaye, (FNITP), reminded the 77 inductees that the prestigious position and title of Fellow must be held in honor and integrity; they are expected to be great mentors and exhibit the spirit of excellence, which upcoming planners can emulate.

They further charged stakeholders to reposition the Institute to play a vibrant and significant role to achieve excellence in planning befitting human settlements; noted that town planning should be taught in schools and to politicians aspiring for National Assembly in order to achieve planning programmes; urged government agencies to involve physical planners in their programmes and that government should reward outstanding members of their Association with National Merit Awards.

The Guest Speaker, Prof. Yusuf Turaki PH.D, MNIM, mno, Professor of Theology and Social Ethics said the discussion on ‘Mentoring’ is timely as it, among other things, focused on the training of the Fellows of the Guild of Town Planners. He, however, decried the state and condition of the Nigerian social environment and challenged planners to come up with comprehensive and holistic approach to tackle the menace.

The august gathering attracted eminent dignitaries, stakeholders as was well as well wishers of the new Fellows.