By Anthony Adgidzi
The Nasarawa State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana has identified factors hampering the implementation of the state’s master plan saying, should the issues of planning and sanitation be addressed, the state would experienced rapid growth and development.
The Attorney general who was speaking to group of town planners in Lafia, after their 22 edition of Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme in Lafia.
The programme which was organized by the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners in collaboration with the Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria, had as it theme; mastering physical planning services for effective performance.
The event which targeted northern zone, brought mostly town planners from across the 36 states of the federation, including FCT.
According to Kana, the enormous associated with urban planning informed why Governor Abdullahi Sule directed a total overhaul of the legal frame to enable the appropriate body enforce proper planning of the state.
“As the most important people in the society, there is nothing better than a serene environment really, and you can’t achieve it without proper planning.
“If there are two issues now that, in the master plan for the growth and development of the state, that Governor Abdullahi Sule has signed, which he tammed Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), two areas that are giving us major problem now are in the areas of planning and sanitation.
“Substantially, we have been able to control the security challenges in the state. It been hectic and tough, our prisons are almost full to the brime, because every day, almost all the kidnappers that have perpetrated the hight profile incidences in the state have been arrested and we are still aresting as many and prosecuting them.
“Our educational system as seen all over the state, with the partnership with UBEC almost all our primary school have received some kind of interventions. The health system, especially primary healthcare have been attended to, the few rural roads are been fixed.
“Inspit the effort that was made by the last administration and being made by the present administration of Governor Abdullahi Sule, the beauty of our environment tends to be hiding behind a very rowdy facade and that rowdy facade is our inability to enforce planing regulations, rules and laws. The people appears to be screaming and shouting louder than the system could control.
“It because of this, the governor gave us a matching order to overhaul the legal framework for the planning in the state, by unbundling the Nasarawa Urban Development Board and creating an agency from it and also increasing it powers.
“Effectively, what we did is to lift the National urban planning law and domesticated it and then, we change the name from NUDB to Nasarawa Urban development authority so that, it can have more powers and we created Greater Karu Area Development Agency (G-KADA) so that more attention will be paid to that disaster called mararaba.
“That place is a time bomb and an urban jungle. Apart from the social issues, the planning issues are competing with it. Social issues in the sense that 99% of the people are undocumented Nigerians, and once you escaped as a fugitive or prisoner and once you enter mararaba, you get disappeared.”
He said, mararaba is not only a massive jungle of human beings and very bad planning situation there, and he condemned the idea where everybody do whatever he or she like.”
He further, after a careful thought by the governor on where the problem lies and the best things to do is to fix those problem, so that we now know where the problem is coming in.
“Illegal structures all over the place, batchers everywhere and people tries to build on the road amidst poor environment.
According to the Justice Commissioner, the situation where someone will claim unnecessary right by doing the wrong thing ends up breaching the planning regulations, which posed a serious concernto the government.
He added that, the problem with urban planning is not about enforcement, the law it self has issues, saying untill they fixed it in the legal framework, the problem can’t be solved.
He called on on the planners to give government all the support, to come up with a law that would make enforcement possible and as well satisfy everyone.
Kana maintained, untill we pay attention to our environment, we will be paying expensive flight ticket to Dubai and other countries in the world to watch beautiful Serene and come back.