The federal government has urged the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) to shoulder its professional responsibility and engage state governments to correct construction irregularities to improve urban safety.
Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, made the call at the 53rd National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the theme of the conference is: “Physical Planning and Urban Security in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Prospects”.
Fashola said that no individual or organization should be allowed to act in contravention of planning regulations, adding that the state cannot bypass its own planning rules and regulations, otherwise it would be sowing the seeds of urban insecurity.
He said: “Nothing more than absolute professionalism should be demanded and accepted from the planner. Although the ownership of the land is a matter of the State and the owner.
“However, what you put on the land and how you use it is the ultimate responsibility of the developer. In discharging that responsibility, even the State must comply with urban planning regulations.”
Fashola said nothing should be considered too much within the law for developers to insist on compliance, saying "this should be the provision of the professional developer, to improve urban safety."
For his part, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, who said the role of urban planners in the development of any country cannot be overstated, praised the institute for organizing the conference.
Earlier, the national president of the institute, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, expressed his hope that the conference will expose urban planners to new information that will guide future decisions in favor of urban safety.
Ayinde described the theme of the conference as very relevant to contemporary reality and very vital for the collective survival and security of the country.
“Security issues are the crux of the matter. That is why we are looking for authorities on the matter to address the issue, ”she said.
For his part, the president of the institute's FCT chapter, Mr. Mustapha Mubdiyu, said that the conference brings together urban planners, allied professionals, academics and policy makers.
He said that they would discuss new concepts, emerging trends and a global agenda to find solutions to environmental and development challenges in the country.
Mubdiyu said that cities in Nigeria have become increasingly exposed to the direct or indirect effects of security threats and challenges.
According to him, they range from crime, social crime and forced urban migration that led to the proliferation of slums and illegal settlements, urban violence and child abuse.
Mubdiyu said, "This year's theme is not only appropriate but necessary to dissect these effects and challenge with a view to offering practical recommendations for sustainable urban planning and development of our urban centers."
In addition, the main presenter, Dr. Kabir Adamu, Managing Director of Beacon Consulting Ltd, emphasized the need for more collaboration between security institutions and urban planners to improve urban security in the country.
Okwori's representative, security and crime management consultant, Adamu, said that for physical planning to be effective, security agencies must be involved.
He said: “Because we realized that there are challenges that come with physical planning, such as interference from political leaders, which often creates room for bridges in security.
"So the reason we're here is to talk to planners and other relevant professionals to comply with the rules and regulations and what it takes to plan a city."
The Director of the Department of Development Control of the FCT, Mukhtar Galadima, the Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, Umar Shuaibu, representatives of the Governors of the states of Kaduna, Borno and Ondo, among others, attended.
Edited / Bashir Rabe Mani
Source Credit: NAN
Sen. Abu Ibrahim, an All Progressive Congress (APC) stalwart in Katsina State, has reconciled some aggrieved party members in Funtua zone, in the Southern part of the state.
Ibrahim has also mobilised support towards the success of Bola Tinubu’s Presidential and Alhaji Dikko Radda’s governorship ambitions.
He said, “I am now sure that Tinubu and Dikko would get almost 100 per cent of the votes from the Katsina South Senatorial zone.
“There is no doubt that the Funtua zone is now for and all APC candidates.
” Ibrahim, Ibrahim, a close associate of the APC presidential candidate, said that they have met with the senator representing the area, Sen. Bello Mandiya, and reconciled with him for the success of the party in the zone.
According to Sen. Ibrahim, apart from reconciling with him, Sen. Mandiya has donated campaign vehicles for the success of the APC.
He therefore appealed to stakeholders from Daura and Katsina senatorial zones to also embark on similar reconciliation process with party members in the areas.
He further noted that in line with the reconciliation committee set up by Gov. Aminu Masari, they have worked tirelessly in mobilizing all members of the party in the zone.
Federal Government supported Katsina State with N3 billion to construct the Faculty of Agriculture buildings at the state-owned university, Umaru Musa Yar’adua University (UMYU), at Layin Minista in Malumfashi Local Government Area. UMYU’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Sunusi Mamman, disclosed this to newsmen on Saturday in Katsina.
He said Gov. Aminu Masari solicited for N3 billion from the Federal Government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and that the state government added N1billion to execute the project.
Mamman commended Masari for sourcing the fund from the Federal Government and for releasing the N1 billion counterpart fund for the project.
He said the buildings comprised lecture theatres, administration block, laboratories, ranching area and animal breeding spots, among others.
The vice-chancellor explained that the buildings had been handed over to the university for its Use.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State has assured new members who defected from the All Progressive Congress (APC) that they will be given equal treatment in the state.
The party’s gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Yakubu Lado-Danmarke, gave the assurance on Sunday in Jibia while receiving 12,936 APC members from Kaita and Jibia local government areas.
He also gave assurance to the people of the area that if elected he would restore security, peace and order in the areas within 100 days.
Lado-Danmarke alleged that “wickedness, hatred and bad government policies” had hindered business activities in the areas.
“By God’s grace, if we are elected, we will ensure that Jibia returns to its past glory as the window of economic activities in the entire country.
“I assure you that you would be carried along in all the party activities in the state,” he said.
In his remarks, the leader of the defectors, Alhaji Aminu Lawal-Jibia, said they decided to leave the APC because of how they were treated.
Also speaking, the Katsina PDP Chairman, Alhaji Lawal Uli, assured the defectors of justice and fair play that the party is known for over the years.
He urged them to work hard for the success of the party in the forthcoming 2023 general elections in the state.
Among the defectors are the immediate past special adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari, Alhaji Aminu Lawal-Jibia, Alhaji Sa’adu Mai Gishiri Kaita and other notable APC members in the area.
Residents of some states in the Northwest say governments’ approach of encouraging people to defend themselves in the fight against bandits, is yielding the desired result.
In their responses to a News Agency of Nigeria survey, they said this bold approach, which entailed enormous sacrifice by residents, had forced bandits to soft-pedal in their nefarious activities.
According to them, the hoodlums have realised that the battle is no longer between security agents and bandits, but now involved the ‘people’ as active participants in the fight.
In Katsina, for instance, the State Government said several leaders of bandit groups had reached out to the authorities, seeking for peace.
The Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Security Matters, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed, told NAN that most of the hoodlums had envisaged a bleak future and were willing to make amends.
According to him, the approach adopted by government targeted at ‘building the courage’ of the people, had started yielding positive results, with the rate of attacks by bandits reduced .
Ahmed said success could be achieved easily through the combined efforts of the citizens, the state government and security agencies.
He said the state government had trained 1,100 highly volunteers to serve as members of community vigilante corps, and were ready to make sacrifices for their communities to survive.
According to the adviser, this is an effort to send a message to the bandits to embrace peace or face tough time.
In Sokoto, a security expert, Sqdr. Leader Aminu Bala (Rtd), observed that activities of bandits had reduced slightly in the past few months, but called for the sustenance of the current military onslaught on the hoodlums.
Also, Malam Laminu Umar, a resident of Sabon Birni in the state, noted that the situation in the area had changed for better.
“The ongoing military operation in our area has helped in checking the activities of the hoodlums.
“Some of the bandits have been neutralized, while others have fled because they cannot withstand the military power; the military operation should be sustained for a long time,” he suggested.
Speaking to NAN, Alhaji Bello Dantsoho, a resident of Rabah in Sokoto State, also observed some improvement.
“They only storm remote areas, pick one or two persons and demand ransom before they release them.
“They have been subdued to the extent that they can no longer launch deadly operations frequently, as was the case in the past.
“This is unlike before when they attacked our people in numbers, killed, raped and stole belongings, including livestock,” he said.
Meanwhile, some religious leaders in Kaduna State have observed that insurgency had remained unabated in the state, but admitted that little success had been achieved.
One of the leaders who is also the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, Rev John Hayab, said in spite of the little success recorded, the persistence of insurgency was worrisome.
Hayab observed that the number of security agents tackling the challenge was enough but stressed that what was needed was building of the people’s confidence that would encourage sharing of useful information.
According to him, many people are still reluctant to ‘say something’ whenever they ‘see something’ around their environment.
“When you have the understanding and support of all stakeholders and the public, then you have your security beefed-up enough to unravel and tackle every security challenge.
“Only then can you proudly say you are winning the war on insurgency,” he said.
In his contribution, the Acting Administrative Secretary of Jamaatul Nasril Islam (JNI), National Headquarters, Kaduna, Malam Yusuf Bida, said enhanced welfare package for security agents in the front-line, was key.
He added that concerted media engagement efforts must also be intensified to dissuade citizens from serving as informants to hoodlums.
Reacting to recent development in the state, Zamfara State Police Spokesperson, Muhammad Shehu, said the security situation had improved, adding that apprehension and fear among people had subsided drastically.
According to him, the ongoing efforts by police and other security agencies in the fight against banditry activities had been yielding results.
However, former Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Zamfara, Malam Ibrahim Kanoma, called for deployment of more security personnel to rural parts of the state.
Kanoma also appealed to government and security agencies to ensure close monitoring of security operations in the state.
A community leader in Gusau, Mr Garba Yusuf, urged government to give priority to victims of banditry activities in the state.
Yusuf lamented that thousands of such victims, mainly women and children, had been displaced from their communities due to insecurity, and were in need of intervention from government to save their lives.
In Kebbi State, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Kontagora, said his command and sister security agencies, as well as traditional rulers, were putting heads together in confronting the lingering security challenges bedeviling the state.
He said that recently, he and his management team had paid courtesy visits on the Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Comptroller, Nigeria Correctional Service, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRS C) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), among others.
He said the visit was meant to solicit the support and cooperation of the sister agencies in making Kebbi State safe.
The Commissioner appealed to people of the state to cooperate with the police and other security agencies with a view to reducing crime to the minimum.
Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, the immediate past Secretary to the Katsina State Government has defected from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Inuwa who lost in his bid to secure the APC governorship ticket, announced his defection to PDP on Sunday in Katsina while addressing his supporters.
He explained that the decision was taken after series of consultations with his supporters across the state Inuwa who served as SSG in Gov. Aminu Masari’s administration from 2015 till the governorship primary in May 2022, claimed that he has been sidelined in all APC activities in the state.
“If you could remember, during the APC governorship primary election in the state, we know all that happened at that time, and at the end a winner was declared.
“We accepted defeat and we promised to support the party’s candidate, after which he visited me and I assured him all the necessary support.
“But unfortunately, since then, I have never been contacted for any function related to the progress of the party in Katsina state, thereby sidelining us from the party.
“This is a clear indication that we are not respected as bonafide members of APC while some people went on saying that they can win elections even without us.
“With this development in the party, we cannot continue in this situation, therefore, myself and all my supporters in the state resolved to leave the party and support the PDP,” he said.
Inuwa instructed all his supporters across the state to register with PDP and handover his campaign offices to the party.
Katsina State Government is taking census of communities ravaged by bandits to provide psychosocial and economic support to them, an official said on Friday.
Ibrahim Ahmad-Katsina, the Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Security Matters, told newsmen in Katsina that the aim was also to address the trauma the victims went through.
He said that a committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu, was undertaking the census of banditry-affected victims in the state.
“This is to ensure that the victims have not become psychologically vulnerable, and thus avert another cycle of violence after the end of banditry.
“We are applying simple psychological measures to manage the perception of the children of the banditry-affected victims.
“This is because, the children of those affected by banditry will surely like to take revenge, so that’s why we want to support them to overcome the trauma.
“We will provide the widows with gainful employment, skills and trades, and their children will be taken to schools,” the special adviser said.
Ahmad-Katsina said that the new approach to tackling banditry adopted by government has been recording successes.
According to him, part of the strategy is building people’s confidence to confront the bandits or report to security agencies without fear.
“We have realized that these bandits are also human beings like us, hence we want to disallow them from cutting short our lives.
“We are not only talking, we know what we are doing, relative peace is gradually returning to the state based on several factors.
“We have realized that what we are facing in Katsina is community banditry, most of the bandits and their locations are known.
“We understood the dynamics of the threats which made it easier for us to deal with the problem and identify the factors responsible and what needs to be done to nip the problem.
“We first reached out to the communities and developed their capacity in intelligence gathering, community policing, and community effort,” he said.
He added that the state government had trained 1,100 highly educated community vigilante corps, assisting their communities to survive.
Ahmad-Katsina pointed out that through this approach, members of various banditry-affected communities have risen to their responsibilities by not waiting for the security forces.
“We have already commenced the Ruga project in Katsina State, taking development to the forest areas and hinterlands, areas that were hitherto inaccessible are now accessible,” the official said.
According to him, some of the bandits have reached out to government indicating interest to embrace peace.
“And let me share something with you, even the bandit leaders are now laying down their arms, reaching out to us, they want a robust peace agreement that is committed to by both sides,” he added.
On 2023 elections, the special adviser assured that it would hold peacefully in all parts of the state.
“The present administration in the state will not hand over a hangover of threats, challenges or problems to the incoming government,” he added.
Katsina State government has suspended the ban it placed on night use of motorcycles.
Malam Al-Amin Isah, Director-General, New Media to Gov. Aminu Masari, made the announcement in a statement he issued in Katsina, “In the spirit of the current Eid-El Maulud (celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohmmed), Gov. Masari has approved the suspension of the ban on the use of motorcycles at night.
“The suspension ends on Nov. 20. Members of the public are enjoined to be law-abiding during the suspension of the ban.
“Members of the public are also advised to be vigilant and to assist security agencies in enhancing peace and security in the state,’’ he stated.
Government placed the ban in the wake of heightened insecurity in the state.
It equally lifted the ban during Ramadan (the 30-day fasting period for Muslims) to enable the faithful to observe the period without hindrance.
Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has called on traditional rulers in the state to give maximum support towards the successful conduct of the 2023 population and housing census.
The governor made the call on Thursday in Katsina during a one-day stakeholders’ summit on the proposed 2023 population and housing census.
According to him, it is the responsibility of traditional rulers to ensure that their subjects give the exact number of their family members, without adding to it.
He said that the traditional rulers had a very important role to play towards achieving this and the entire success of the exercise in the state.
Masari explained that it was only by providing the exact number of family members that the accurate population of the state could be realised for planning purposes.
He pointed out that since 1963, census in Nigeria has been highly and wrongly politicised, saying, “All our censuses are being bedevilled by politics of numbers not quality of numbers.
“We hope this time, with technology, we will be able to achieve near perfection in terms of knowing how many we are in this country.
“The tragedy of what we have done in reducing the issues of census could rarely fall on it in terms of resources and allocation.
“Political offices have eroded the main objective of knowing how many we are.
Therefore, I urge the commission to address the quality of numbers, not politics of numbers.
Earlier, the NPC Federal Commissioner in the state, Alhaji Bala Almu-Banye, said the scheduled census exercise was designed to realise the dream of providing the needed demographic data.
The NPC chief said that this would facilitate and place Nigeria on the pedestal of sustainable development.
He said: “In line with the UN principles and recommendations, the 2023 census will be fully digitised and the commission has deployed technology to conduct the exercise and enhance data quality.
“In the 2023 census, everyone will be counted in the right way, at the right place and time and for the benefit of all persons resident in Nigeria.
” He explained that the summit would broaden state level support base for the successful conduct of the exercise as well as create public awareness, including its imperatives, methodology and timelines.
Almu-Banye decorated Gov. Masari as the ambassador of census in the state.
Alhaji Idris Tune, Head of Service (HoS), Katsina State, said that civil servants in the state were well-trained for efficient service delivery.
Tune stated this at the closing of a capacity building workshop on Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), organised by Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation (OAGF), for Accounting officers on Saturday in Katsina.
He noted that IPSAS was implemented in all the states of the federation in line with the global best practice.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Department of Establishment and Training, Alhaji Musa Mahuta, the HoS said that the accounting officers needed to undergo such training to build their capacity for effective service delivery.
According to him, this year alone, five categories of workshops were organised, in each of them with 100 participants benefitting.
“We have also sponsored some personnel for international trainings in health sector, to enable them to have basic knowledge to discharge their responsibilities effectively.
” “We thank the State Governor Aminu Masari for the support and cooperation to the office of the head of service” Tune said .
The Accountant-General of the Federation, represented by the Director, General Services, Mrs Hannatu Tanko, said that the training was aimed at demonstrating commitment for civil servants to comply with IPSAS standards.
Earlier, the Deputy Accountant-General of the state, Alhaji Sani Lawal (BK), who is also Chairman, Local Organising Committee, thanked Office of the Accounting General of the Federation for the workshop.