Town planners have expressed concern over the inadequate budgetary allocation to the physical planning sector in the 2024 appropriation law.

Nathaniel Atebije, President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), criticized the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for receiving a mere N99.92 billion envelope, with a recurrent expenditure of N2.99 billion and capital expenditure of N96.99 billion, which he described as insufficient.

Speaking in Abuja recently, Atebije highlighted that despite the low budget, the ministry has a total of 483 projects, comprising 138 ongoing and 345 new projects.

He pointed out that the national budget, dubbed “Renewed Hope Budget,” allocated a significant portion to defense and security, with little attention given to physical planning.

Atebije commended President Bola Tinubu for introducing the Renewed Hope Cities housing program, acknowledging its potential benefits to Nigerians.

However, he raised concerns about the program’s focus and questioned whether it aimed to increase the nation’s housing stock or provide affordable housing for the vulnerable.

He emphasized the importance of adhering to existing laws and regulations in urban development projects, citing the need for proper scrutiny of development proposals, environmental impact assessments, and obtaining necessary permits.

Atebije also praised the recent policy by the Management of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), which requires educational institutions to have approved physical development master plans before accessing intervention programs.

He urged other public and private institutions to follow suit and engage qualified town planners in their development projects.

Source: Africa Housing News