Town planners and allied professionals in Abia State have been urged to come up with sustainable means of making the cities attain the status of well planned urban areas with zero distortions as they expand.
The Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Mr. Aaron Ikechi Bestman, gave the charge at a two-day retreat on Abia State Town Planning Development Council 2021 held in the commercial city of Aba.
Abia’s major cities, Umuahia, the capital city and Aba, the commercial hub have been developing without adherence to a clear-cut master plan thereby exposing the cities to uncoordinated development.
But the permanent secretary said that the workshop with over 100 participants drawn from the 25 town planning authorities, the ministry and Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA), was an opportunity for town planners to come up with ideas to make Abia cities the best designed in Nigeria.
Bestman, who is also a town planner, reiterated his resolve to lift the ministry to the level where it would be discharging its duties efficiently and optimally through adequate training and retraining of staff.
He declared that the era of indiscipline and indolence was over in the ministry, adding that with regular training of trainers, staff of the ministry would be put on their toes to perform their duties effectively.
Speaking at the end of the capacity building workshop, the director in the Department of Town Planning, Dr. Ananaba Lawson Ananaba, described the retreat as the first of its kind in Abia, as professionals in the business of town planning have been exposed to better ways of doing things.
Ananaba, who represented the permanent secretary at the closing ceremony, assured that the training programme has helped the participants to sharpen their skills and knowledge, adding that the town planning profession in Abia would be impacted positively.
Speaking with journalists at the end of the event, the Executive Secretary, Osisioma Ngwa Town Planning Authority, Mr. Chigoziri Okezie Ahiwe, lauded the permanent secretary for facilitating the workshop.
He noted that the appointment of professionals as permanent secretaries by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has brought a new vista in the running of the ministries with staff training and retraining now placed on the front burner.