The Benue State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, Hon. Bernard Unenge has restated the commitment of the administration of Governor Samuel Ortom in working with professional bodies in Nigeria to achieve sustainable development.

Hon. Unenge made this known on Monday when he received officials and members of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP) led by the National President, TPL Toyin Ayinde on a courtesy visit in his office in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. The Commissioner who acknowledged the importance of town planning in governance said, it can not be overemphasized.

He stated that good Planning under Governor Samuel Ortom has led to the infrastructural development recorded in the state including the Benue Geographic Information Service, BENGIS project. He assured of the state government's readiness to consider the new innovations in Town Planning as recommended by NITP, adding that if the Planning policies of the Federal Government are positively domesticated in Benue, they would sit down and do the needful as soon as possible. Hon. Unenge further disclosed that BENGIS under the state Ministry of Lands, apart from the digitization of land administration in the state has been carrying out training and retraining of its staff to ensure that they are up to date with new innovations and the latest planning policies.

Earlier in his speech, NITP President and former Lagos State Commissioner for Fiscal and Budget Planning, TPL Toyin Ayinde, said Town Planning is key in good governance. Apart from helping to enhance development, Town and Regional planning also prevent clashes over land according to the president. He, therefore, called on the Benue State Government to always support and fund Town planning. TPL Ayinde commended Governor Ortom's administration for the ultramodern BENGIS project, executed to comprehensively digitize land administration in the state.


NITP 1st National Vice President, TPL Nathaniel Atebije and Director of Town Planning, TPL Sunday Onaze in separate comments said, proper Town Planning would also solve security problems in the country as good roads would facilitate easy movements by security operatives. They advised Benue State Government to learn from the pitfalls of other states and plan well.

On his part, BENGIS Project Manager, Mr Mario Bajouk expressed hope that town Planning would continue to add value to the sustained development agenda of the Ortom administration, noting that even the BENGIS project would have not be successful without planning. In a vote of thanks, TPL Steve Adah, the Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals appreciated the professional body, NITP, for its relentless efforts to ensure that Benue has a good town plan and was optimistic that with planning, the state can go far in terms of development.

By: Jacob Shom