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Town planners need enabling environment

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Supportive policies for SMEs could help Nigerians excel globally - ATOPCON.

Experts have urged governments at various levels to establish a conducive atmosphere for professionals working in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) within the economy. In order to encourage investment, Dr. Emmanuel Awode, the Chief Executive Officer of ChemStar Group, highlighted the inclination of numerous industrialists and entrepreneurs to invest significantly. However, their enthusiasm is hindered by the daunting conditions prevalent in the country. He addressed the audience during the official appointment ceremony of Mr. Adebisi Adediri, who was named the 11th president of the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) in Lagos.

According to him, businesses and professionals encounter a multitude of obstacles, including inadequate infrastructure, complex regulatory protocols, and pervasive corruption. Awode suggests that Nigeria has the potential to emerge as a dominant presence in Africa and the global arena if both the federal and state governments create a favourable business climate for SMEs and the broader society. To achieve this, he urges the Federal Government to establish partnerships with experts and foster collaboration between town planners, federal, state, and local councils, and other professions.

Planners were urged to act on building collapses and environmental issues.

This collaborative effort can effectively enhance the ease of conducting business within the country. Awode also urged town planners to take immediate action to put a stop to the rampant problem of building collapse and various other environmental issues that the nation is currently grappling with. The unsettling and deeply emotional recent incidents of collapse have deeply impacted the people, and he fervently hopes that the public will witness a resolution to this crisis as soon as possible.

Regarding the Strategic Planning for a Brighter Future for the Town Planning Profession in Nigeria, former ATOPCON president Waheed Kadiri emphasised the importance of strategic planning. He urged the association’s leadership to prioritise developing long-term action plans that can effectively accomplish commendable objectives. He suggested that engaging the association’s state divisions would be beneficial for the procedure, as it would allow a wide range of expertise from individuals with various backgrounds in law, psychology, financial management, and brand management to collaborate, thus ensuring a comprehensive strategy.

Community empowerment will be a top priority for the association.

Kadiri noticed that the field encounters many challenges, such as financial downturns, failure policies and sudden reversals, unforeseen disturbances, harmful innovations, extensive delays from bidding to project completion, and the struggle to obtain and disburse budgetary funds. Furthermore, during his speech at the event, Adediri expressed his commitment to prioritising individuals’ empowerment within the community. He emphasised the significance of inclusivity and sustainability in town consultancy while simultaneously working towards establishing a solid foundation for a prosperous future. Additionally, He aimed to guarantee the continued success of current town planning firms and envisioned a nationwide expansion of innovative planning companies.

He aspires for the upcoming generation of town planners to step into the role of independent consultants, thereby introducing fresh viewpoints and groundbreaking ideas into the field, a vision that perfectly matches his own aspirations. In their pursuit, they aim to establish strong collaborations with the public sector, fostering opportunities for town planners to participate actively in the country’s governance. He emphasised that ATOPCON is steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that the government does not solely dictate decisions about the environment, urban planning, and city development.

Related Article: Lagos urbanisation needs innovative approach

Lastly, the newly appointed president was reminded by Mr. Nathaniel Atebije, the president of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), that the aspirations held by the people who follow his leadership are grand and elevated. He emphasised the importance of constantly redefining their goals and aspirations. Mr. Muyiwa Adelu, the immediate past president of ATOPCON, stated that the association has achieved significant progress and upheld high standards in the profession. He emphasised the association’s commitment to supporting consultants in sustaining their businesses.

Related Link:

ChemStar: Website

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