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Varsity Don Seeks Improved Town Planning Practice, Economic Growth

From left to right: Prof. Julius Olujimi (guest lecturer), Prof. Kayode Oyesiku (lecture chairman), Engr. Olufemi Omokungbe (Rector, Yabatech Chief Host), Dr. A. M. Olaseni (The Celebrant), Mrs. R. A. Olaseni (Wife of the Celebrant), Prof. Fola Aboaba (Member, Board of Trustees RCCG).

By News Editor

A member Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Professor Julius Olujimi has advocated on improving professional practice through effective planning on education in Nigeria.

Driven by the need to have core professionals in its folds, Olujimi, challenged town planners to rise to the level of generating ideas through innovative thinking and rekindle the need for improved professionalism in Town Planning Practice and education.

He stated that more training and manpower development will sharpen the skills and competence on the job.

Speaking at the Maiden edition of TPL.(Dr.) Mobolaji Abubakar Olaseni Annual Lecture titled:”Improving Professional Planning Practice Through Effective Planning Education In Nigeria” organized by the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON) in Lagos and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Prof Olujimi emphasized the need for members to demonstrate their commitment at addressing some salient challenges confronting the profession of urban and regional planning education in Nigeria.

Said he: “On the front burner is the issue of training and re- training of professionals to ensure that the benefits of Urban and Regional Planning education are delivered to the larger society through continuous planning education and training programmes.”

He urged members to
be mindful of sound managerial ability and exhibit sound ethics of business communication in carrying out their activities, towards educational improvement of our members in advancing the practice of urban and regional planning profession in the country.

Professor Olujimi, who teaches at the department of urban and regional planning, Federal University of Technology, Akure noted that over the years that the profession has emerged from mere health/social studies into the stream of conventional professional practice, yet, it has not gain popularity and dignity expected as a result of communication gap between the public and the professionals urgently requires to set for itself tested and practicable principles for effective business communication and ethics for consultancy in the built environment.

Olujimi stressed the need for members to learn the rudimentary of communicating effectively in the business of town planning. He noted that effective planning and communication affects aspects of the profession such as marketing, public relations, crisis management, making presentations, conducting job interviews and facilitating problem-solving sessions, among others.

He cautioned members that Town Planning Practice is a trade where much integrity is required, urging colleagues to integrate a duty of care and diligence in their discharge of duties especially in this era of highly knowledgeable clients who look forward to maximum sincerity and trust worthiness from the word go, in business transaction.

National President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planner(NITP), Olutoyin Ayinde, in his goodwill message at the ocassion, congratulated TPL. Olaseni describing him “a blessed to be so recognized and honoured by his own colleagues and associates in his lifetime.”
“I found him worthy of being profiled as one of the Outstanding urban planning practitioners in Nigeria”, Ayinde said.

Similarly, chairman of the Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria ( ATOPCON), Lagos state branch, TPL. Dr. Kola Olayiwola, described Dr. Olaseni as a “man with a larger heart, a lover of education, who takes great pleasure in the educational development of other people.

He commended the organizing committee of the 2022- Dr. Abubakar Mobolaji Olaseni Annual Lecture “for conceiving the lofty idea.”

Turning to the celebrant, Olayiwola said: “Our celebrant has graduated many students both within and outside the college, including supervision of PHD students of the university of Kwa Zulu Natal in Durban, South – Africa.

Olayiwola, therefore counseled that members must possess all the good old fashioned qualities of; trust, respect for clients individual differences, focus more on building rapport, keep to schedule, know and satisfy their clients need as well as go the extra miles to create delights and offer more than the clients pay.

He said most clients are limited due to lack of appreciation of planning by town planners, he therefore advised that members must build their capacities in technical knowledge and skills, know how to diagnose and find solutions, think in terms of spatial relationship, develop sound leadership ability and improve their management skill including financial management capability.

“Association such as ATOPCON owes itself and members a duty to constantly evolve and be at the front edge of research for new skills of delivering value adding services to the clients. Government at all levels must encourage the profession by patronizing consultants for their projects.”

YABATECH Rector, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe, said the event “is heart-warming when teachers are appreciated by their students and community.

“Olaseni has spent a great part of his youthful years in the service of YABATECH. He joined the service as Higher Instructor on 3rd September,1984. He has contributed immensely to the teaching and advancement of Urban and Regional Planning profession for over 35 years”, Omokungbe said.

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