‘’There are many factors that results in communities that may be under-served, under-resourced and overburdened to people, governments and its agenda can be one of them. This is by no means, part of what is being down hindering development and sustaining environmental virtues, encouraging the continued maladies it is experiencing within the surroundings and everywhere’’
American Planning Association.
When considering the many factors bewildering environmental virtues, standard and safety, and that which hinders conveniences which allows for orderliness, then the human factor hampering those regulations for certain personal interest can then be adduced to be a phenomenon.
From communities to town, rural and urban dwellers today are found in this dilemma of improper planning. Civil servant ‘’urban planners’’ who naturally, are meant to ensure orderliness of land use activities on space that which should be tailored with planning principles are less concerned. The egalitarian society that ensures considerable degree of convenience where every inhabitants are entitled too from all sides ’, is falling, as result, the people, on their part, are now overburdened and under-served with minimal planning tools, which normally, would have remained the civil servants ‘’urban planners’’ responsibility.
But then, the essence of planning should be that which ensures developing structures of whatever kinds satisfies every requirement, where it is expected to be supervised by the agencies of government whose responsibilities it is, to implements standard.
For instance, civil servant ‘’urban planners’’ at the ministry are shouldered with that responsibilities of ensuring adequate quality of both the built and physical environment , the question that become ardent in the leaps of many, is the idea behind the role of both private planning practice and civil servants ‘’urban planners, their roles and functions in the state of Lagos, without any compromise, whose function it is, to supervise, monitor land use activity and lay particular emphases on quality that meet with standards as against the ethics of the profession where civil servant Urban planners in the state ministry arbitrarily takes undue advantage off against private practitioners, which ordinarily should be in the first instance.
Normal bureaucracy implies that agreement of this kind are done with clients by private planning practitioners, coining its scope with standard planning practice, ’which regrettable is being frustrated by civil servant ‘’urban planners’’, and that which is not supposed to be in the first instance.
The standard practice should be that, civil service urban Planners are described as public practice Professionals who represent public interest, whilst the private practice are actually those that are meant to get the job done on behalf of clients, and then report to them, in order that standard is achieved . For the benefit of getting this narrative in proper perspectives, this writer’s focus would be on the basis of his personal experiences it had with some of the officials of Lagos state physical planning permit authority.
Importantly, let me state that the writer is indeed, an urban planner, whose responsibility it is also; to practice the profession apart from the practice of journalism that he’s also qualified. The issue of allegation should not then arise since, in reality, every encounter remains an account he experienced personally, with the Lagos state ministry officials.
Stating facts, figures behind bars, in the corruption tendencies that some of them in those ministry engages, and what its portends for our environment, its inhabitants and the image of the country that is already overburdened and underserved as ‘’American planning association’’ aptly puts it.
This same sharp practices those ‘’civil servants’’ urban planners engages, is playing the role of private planning practice as against its role, allowing the continued maladies experienced everywhere to persist. Corruption, as Kayode Ajulo, a public Analyst aptly puts it,’’ ‘’is when one manipulates some process using any public office to garner personal gains, he went further to say ‘’those who usually takes advantage of such are individuals that are in public position in both public and private places where leadership is usually needed’’.
Going by these submission, one would be tempted to akin also, to the word of the former Efcc chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, when he was quoted to have said that ‘’Another area where you find harbinger of corrupt tendencies is the civil service’’. Whether it is true or not, this narrative stems from this perception that it is either they the civil servants ‘’urban planners’’ are the one to handle both the role of private practitioners and that of the government with-which their responsibilities lies.
From my observations, there are at least three broad interests that have come against private practitioners. The civil servant ‘’urban planners’’ is more or less concerned about how the whole due process should go, the clients is looking for fastest way out, the private practitioners are in the dilemma of meeting with their required standard where there is none.
Working behind the scene, is where the civil servant ‘’Urban Planner’’ usually out snookered both the private practitioners, and the clients, taking advantage of the clients prime area of concern, ‘’getting those documents approved’’, focuses primarily on whoever is ready to get the approval, and is given top priority, and this is actually what sounds in their ears and not what is obtainable and not what the ethics of the profession demands.
How then is this achieved? What these set of urban planners in the ministry who are not supposed to practice do, is manipulating the whole process using government mechanism to embolden them self’s makes it look like they are the head and tail, with various form of shape practices in actualizing their aims.
With kayode Ajulo saying (manipulation of position of Authority is corruption) and Ibrahim Lamorde Corroborating it with ‘’ saying another place where harbinger of corruption thrives is civil service; indeed leave some of us in no doubt. The Lagos civil servants ‘’urban planners’’ are seriously enmeshed with all said. If not, how do you adduced there rope a dope styles, leaning on the rope, pretending to be on the verge of surrender, only to bounce back through ferocious means?
My experiences with them rather speak volume, here are part of what was encountered: I was instructed by a client to prepare Environmental impact Analysis for commercial development, sealed an agreement with the clients and the next thing I had next was call from the client saying she would want me meet with her for us to discuss.
The pregnancy loads of many thoughts would never leave me give birth. I was curious until the putative loads in me gave birth On getting there to listen to what she had to say. ‘’Hear her’’ how are you Segun? I replied fine. These Town planners in this Lagos state ministry are really making thing terrible for those of you practicing from outside, I will call (Name withheld) and high the volume of the phone for you to hear our conversation of what he described you to be.
Ha?, ok ma.
Hello, how are you?
Very fine ma, so you were saying something about that report that was submitted, I mean the (EIA)
Yes Ma, that report is not recommendable ma, I have told you to ask him, ‘’Mr. Segun to return the money you paid on consultancy fee, we will do it for you. He wrote non sense and its can’t get Approval’’.
I felt very sad. Not to myself but the profession.
The Nigerian institute of Town planners are really in for more image laundering, the institute whose responsibility it is, is to manage this developments must be alive to its responsibilities. The situation is getting worse by the day for private practitioners practicing that profession from outside world essentially in the state of Lagos.
A colleague once said, ‘’that part of the challenges the institute must grapple with, is allowing civil servants urban planners finding its self in the affairs of the institute, and once cases of this nature arise, what they do is simply sweep such cases under the carpet and this is where the institute image is being gradually brought into disrepute and it must stop.