Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has admonished Nigerians to always stand by the truth in their daily lives in order to honour God and secure His intervention. Osinbajo gave the charge in a sermon he delivered on Sunday to the congregation at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jesus House, Silverbird Entertainment Centre, Central Area, Abuja. In the sermon,…
• Oyo govt rolls out master plan to re-build old city
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
at the time of independence of Nigeria in 1960, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was the largest and most populous city in the country, and the second most populous in Africa after Cairo in Egypt.
Today, it is the third most populous city in Nigeria, coming after Lagos and Kano. But in terms of geographical area, Ibadan, which came to existence in 1829, is said to be the country’s largest.
The 2006 census in Nigeria put the population of Ibadan at 1,338,659. But the city has witnessed a phenomenal increase in population between 2006 and 2017, growing into an impressive and sprawling urban centre, as well as a major trading centre. These days, experts predicted that the population of the city would skyrocket to 11.3million by 2036.
But the rapid population growth and urbanisation being witnessed in Ibadan, according to experts, have been largely uncontrolled and haphazard in nature as there was no conscious planning or a master plan to guide the growth.
There are 11 local governments in Ibadan metropolitan area, consisting of five urban local governments in the city and six in semi-urban local governments in the less-city. But additional 14 local council development areas were carved out of the 11 local government areas in Ibadan by the administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
The five local governments in the urban centre of Ibadan are: Ibadan North, Ibadan North-Est, Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-East and Ibadan South-West. In the semi-urban areas are Akinyele, Egbeda, Iddo, Lagelu, Ona Ara and Oluyole.
As observed by experts, lack of a master plan for Ibadan culminated into poor roads and drainage networks, challenges of inaccessible and mismatched land uses, existence of slums and urban squalor, inadequate provision of social amenities or facilities like potable water supply, electricity, schools, health facilities and poor solid waste management.
But beacon of hope to stop haphazard development of Ibadan appeared after the flooding witnessed in Ibadan on August 26, 2011, in which many lives and multimillion naira properties were lost. That flood disaster was not the first in Ibadan. There was Ogunpa flooding on August 31, 1980. The incident of 2011 came only five days short of the 31st anniversary of Ogunpa flooding.
The August 2011 flood disaster prompted Ajimobi to set up a taskforce to proffer effective and lasting means of reducing the vulnerability of the city to natural disasters, especially flooding. The taskforce recommended development of three important master plans for the city of Ibadan. One is the Ibadan City Master Plan. The other two are drainage master plan and sewage and solid waste master plan.
Government set up the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), with the assistance of the World Bank to prepare a master plan for Ibadan with a view to ensuring coordinated physical growth, and improved socio-economic development of the city. However, draft copies of Ibadan City Master Plan (ICMP) was presented to the governor on March 27, 2017, by the consultant handling the project, which set out the direction in which the development of Ibadan would go in the next 20 years.
Director General, Bureau of Physical Planning in the state, Alhaji Waheed Gbadamosi, said the draft would further be reviewed and relevant comments would be sent to the consultant for incorporation into the final master plan. It is expected that the final copy of the master plan will be unveiled this month.
According to him, the master plan would ensure solid planning for Ibadan ahead of its population that is anticipated to soar to 11.3million by 2036: “The master plan intends to provide sufficient land capacity in order to accommodate the anticipated future population of the city which will be 11.3million by 2036.
“The master plan provides direction for future expansion and identifies key development opportunities. It optimises the use of land and provide for the needs of future populations. The intention is to guide growth and support development.”
The aim master plan was to plan for the next 20 years, while the vision was that by 2036, Ibadan and its wider region would have become a model sustainable and resilient city, where development would address the population’s needs, with thriving employment, providing a high quality of life for all.
But there have been apprehension in Ibadan that the implementation of the master plan, when completed, would lead to demolition of houses. Though government insisted that it would not culminate to demolition of houses, investigations revealed that many people do not trust the government.
A source said: “There is no how the master plan will be implemented and houses will not be demolished. If you consider what happened in Abuja when the master plan of Federal Capital Territory was implemented, you will know that many structures were demolished.
“The other day, a delegation of Oyo State led by Ajimobi said the administration would expand a network of road from Agodi Gate through Oje, Beere, Orita Merin, Ogunpa and Dugbe. I know that the project must have been incorporated into the master plan. Many houses will be demolished and many traders will be demolished.”
Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Oyo State chapter, Mr. Kola Lawal, told Daily Sun that the institute was carried along in the design of the master plan: “Ibadan City Master Plan is different from Abuja Master Plan.
The difference is that Abuja Master Plan was designed before development of Abuja started. The houses that were demolished were built in contravention of the master plan.
“However, in the case of Ibadan City Master Plan, the city has already been developed before the master plan. So, the master plan on its own cannot lead to demolition of houses. It is only urban renewal that can lead to demolition.” He noted that in implementing the master plan, network of roads that would be constructed might lead to demolition: “But owners of the structures that will be affected will be duly compensated.”
Gbadamosi responded: “Master plan is different from what we call urban renewal. Urban renewal is a totally different aspect of planning. A master plan is a guide towards development of any land area. The job of a master plan is to guide you on where to put your building. It is not a document that goes after buildings or bridges, that you should demolish this to get that.
“The document will guide the development of the undeveloped areas. It will tell the planner what to expect in any area. The planner will be able to implement the document to the letter. The undeveloped areas, the planners will tell you the kind of structure you can put there, whether it is commercial or residential.
“It does not have anything to do with the thousands of buildings with brown roofs in the core areas of Ibadan. The traditional architecture and cultural landscape of the city would still be maintained. We are not going to tamper with the traditional homesteads and cultural landscape that typifies and beautifies the city. There won’t be demolition and we will stick with that.
“The objectives of the master plan is to prevent flooding and mitigate any flooding impact caused to the settlement areas; to protect, manage and enhance the natural environment to improve connectivity and integrate with the emerging transport developments and to promote the city’s economy and attract investment and to meet the social needs and requirements of the existing and future population.
“Others to provide adequate utility infrastructure for the existing and future population; to protect and promote the culture and heritage of the city; to enhance quality of life for all and to provide sound planning framework for efficient delivery and implementation.
“The spatial vision of the Ibadan City Master Plan is also underpinned by a set of principles which have informed all stages of the masterplan development and implementation. The principles framing the vision are sustainable city, connected city, cultural city, resilient city, green city and the enterprising city.”
At the one year coronation anniversary of Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, a professor of Economics at the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, Olanrewaju Olaniyan, urged government to fast-track the completion of the proposed master plan for Ibadan metropolis.
He delivered a public lecture on the topic: ‘Sustainable Development of Ibadan: Past, Present and Future.’ He noted that although Ibadan had grown tremendously over the past decades, the challenges for a smooth urbanisation process remain multifaceted:
“Within the next 30 years, the population of Ibadan will be more than double, given the fertility rates and migration possibilities. Ibadan elders must therefore move quickly to plan for affordable growth and provide basic services and so on. Ibadan must continue to be a city that is inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
“There must be a master plan that is not just produced but also implemented religiously. Many of the issues that we are currently facing stem from lack of a comprehensive master plan. Unfortunately, whether there is a plan or not, the city continues to grow.
“Incidentally, once a city is built, its physical form and land use patterns can be locked in for generations, leading to unsustainable sprawl. This should not be allowed to happen. As we grow this city, we need to constantly remind ourselves whether our usage, exploitation and enjoyment of the resources of the city will not jeopardise the ability and capacity of future generations to appreciate and enjoy the resources and benefits of Ibadanland.”
Olaniyan stated that a sustainable development agenda requires tradeoffs across three components – economic, social and environmental, saying eradicating poverty “is accompanied by more intensive environmental exploitation methods; the rising middle class leads to more industrialisation and growing cities. Each of these changes comes at an environmental cost.
“The inter-linkages between economic, social and environmental issues need to be considered. The future belongs to all of us. The sustainability of the future depends on how responsible we have lived today. Sustainability is about everybody and every stakeholder. Every stakeholder must do his or her part.”
Director, Media and Protocol, to the Olubadan, Mr. Adeola Oloko, said the proposed master plan for Ibadan is a welcome development. He said it would lead to infrastructural development of the city:
“The Olubadan is in support of it. It is a laudable project, which will help the growth and development of Ibadan.”
Alhaji Isiaka Lawal is secretary, Nigerian Fruits and Roots Producers Association (NFRPA), Oyo State branch. He has his stall at the Oje Market, Ibadan. He told Daily Sun: “In my personal opinion, we cannot continue to be on the same spot. Also, government should formulate policies that will be instrumental to a meaningful progress for Ibadan and Oyo State.
“I am in support of the master plan. I have been to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Gambia and Gabon, I saw the way those countries do their things.
“But during implementation of the Ibadan City Masterplan, government should adequately compensate the people whose structures will be demolished. I support the government on the proposed project. I would only appeal to government to resettle the affected traders in a nearby place before the commencement of the project.”
A visit to Beere, Orita Merin Agbeni and Ogunpa, revealed that majority of the traders did not have much knowledge of the master plan. But they said they heard that the government wanted to dualise the road that passes through the markets.
They did not want their names and pictures published, so that according to them government officials would not be after them.
But Daily Sun observed that driving from Orita Merin, Agbeni, and Ogunpa to Dugbe has become a sort of hell. Cars and articulated lorries were parked in such a way that the fleet of vehicles barricaded half of the road. The other half was left for vehicles moving in the opposite directions of the single lane, which usually caused logjam.
An educated trader at Agbeni Market, who preferred anonymity, said: “A delegation of Oyo State Government said the administration would expand a network of road from Agodi Gate through Oje, Beere, Orita Merin, Ogunpa and Dugbe. I know that the project must have been incorporated into the master plan. Many houses will be demolished.
“There is no how the master plan will be implemented and houses will not be demolished. If you consider what happened in Abuja when the master plan of Federal Capital Territory was implemented, you will know that many structures were demolished.
“If the government is serious about the road project, we cannot really stop them. But I appeal to them to ensure that neighbourhood markets are built for us before they demolish our shops and stalls.
Another trader at Orita Merin was of the opinion that government should not waste its money on reconstruction of the road network from Agodi Gate, Oje, Beere Agbeni, Ogunpa and Dugbe:
“Tell the government that we don’t want this to be reconstructed. It is waste of money. We that use and sell by the roadsides are not complaining. Instead of reconstructing this road network, the government should rehabilitate and construct the roads in Amuloko, Ajia, Oloruntumo-Apata, Apete-Awotan, Bashorun-Akobo, and so on. We are okay as we are.”
A source said the President General and other executive members of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), have not gone through the draft copy of the master plan: “The CCII subscribes to everything that will bring growth and development to Ibadan. But we shall not comment on the master plan until we have read it.”