Urban and regional planning practitioners across the country have been urged to truly embrace ethics of the profession in order not to kiss the future of the profession goodbye.
President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr Olutoyin Ayinde, gave the advice at a 70th birthday anniversary dialogue on “Ethics in Professional Practice: The Future of Town Planning,” in honor of Alhaji Waheed Ayinla Kadiri, a former President of NITP and former Rector of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, at the weekend in Lagos.
Ayinde warned that if the future is important to the practicing town planners, ethics should matter to them.
According to him, there were certain words that are associated with ethics, adding that these words formed the bedrock of principles that underpin stabilised growth and development.
In the absence of words such as equity, integrity, honesty and kindheartedness, truth, righteousness and values, he said that every thought of growth and development could only be a mirage.
He defined ethics as a system of moral principles; the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture and others, citing professional ethics as an example.
Extolling Kadiri’s virtues, NITP president said “The celebrant of today is one who is on the side of upholding ethics, and he is also one who is passionately concerned about the future of the profession. I can imagine the celebrant thinking in his mind, “By the time I’m 80, 90 or more, will there yet be town planning practice in Nigeria or will town planning still remain a profession?”
The dialogue was put together by the celebrant’s former students “Kadiri Waheed @70 Group” and other associates.
Some of the dignitaries at the occasion described Kadiri as a “leader per excellence, unrepentant professional, cerebral academician, counselor and teacher of teachers.”
The dignitaries included former Chairman of NITP in Lagos State, Ayo Adediran; Lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, Dr Taofik Salau; a town planner, Nasirudeen Tejidini; Principal Partner, MOA Planners Limited, Moses Ogunleye and President of Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Niyi Odetoye; Rector of the Federal Polytechnics , Ilaro, Dr Olusegun Aluko; former Nigeria representative, UN-Habitat, Professor Johnson Falade; lecturer in the Faculty of Social Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Professor Bamidele Badejo; Chairman of NITP, Lagos State, Ayo Adejumo; and Toba Oyebamji of Lagos State Polytechnic.
However, guest lecturer stated that from time to time, practitioners were confronted with situations that challenged their willingness to adhere to ethical and professional standards.
Such situations, he said included; “going along with the crowd, work versus family and societal pressure, greater and more aggressive unvoiced competition among professionals, the temptations of executive salaries, when leaders mislead and pursuit of selfish ambition.
On ways out, Ayinde, a former commissioner of Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos State, urged professional town planners to always be ready to sacrifice, invest in the younger generation, develop relationships, be professional, be humane; develop courage and ready to take action.
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