The Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has organised a three-day retreat for the Management Staff of the Ministry and its agencies as part of efforts to enhance the skills of Town Planning Officers and allied professionals, including Architects, Builders and Engineers.

Speaking at the event held midweek at La Campaigne Tropicaña Resort, Lekki, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, noted that the retreat was necessary to provide participants with the needed tools to improve their physical and mental capacity towards achieving the Greater Lagos Vision of a 21st Century Economy.

He averred that the ugly incidents of both the Coronavirus pandemic and #EndSARS protest witnessed in the year 2020 called for urgent mindset change to prioritise proactive and pragmatic adoption of innovative ways in urban planning.

“I believe the outcome of the retreat will avail members of staff the needed ability to refocus and reposition themselves for the challenges ahead with a view of working towards achieving the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the present administration”, he noted.

Salako charged Town Planners, Architects, Builders and Engineers within the Physical Planning family to up the ante and surmount the challenges of eliminating slums and blighted areas by planning right for the State and ensuring compliance with operative development plans.

In his remark, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Mr. Ganiyu Adele Ayuba, urged participants to seize the opportunity to impact their productivity and cascade lessons learnt to other colleagues.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Arc. Foluso Dipe expressed the optimism that the outcome of the retreat would be a win-win situation for the built environment in Lagos State.

In his presentation, Tpl. Ayo Adediran, a retired Permanent Secretary and renowned Town Planner, who spoke on the theme of the retreat, “Effective Physical Planning and Sustainable Development in the 21st Century”, maintained that a deep understanding of the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda is necessary to provide the impetus for diagnosing the constraints and opportunities for achieving the onerous task of effective planning and sustainable development in the 21st-Century Lagos.

He added that continuous capacity building, collective belief in the government vision, inclusiveness and bottom-up approach, as well as the creation of enabling environment, are essential for improved performance in service delivery and realising the “city of our dreams”.