A don, Dr Abdulateef Bako, has attributed the current security challenges in Nigeria to unmonitored development and outright absence of adequate physical planning of cities and towns.
Mr Bako, who is acting Dean, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, of University of Ilorin, stated this while addressing newsmen on Monday in Ilorin.
According to him, more than 70 per cent of towns and cities in the country are neither well-planned nor have their master plans violated.
“Most of our cities and towns have been witnessing tremendous growth without following any sustainable plan.
“This situation has given rise to haphazard physical development and attendant security lapses.
“The negative effects of lack of adequate physical planning are many, intriguing and affecting the wellbeing of inhabitants of those places as well as the general peace and development of the entire country,” he said.
Mr Bako, also an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, noted that poor physical planning could encourage environmental degradation, slum, pollution, traffic congestion and flooding, among others.
According to the don, cities or countries that do not enjoy proper and sustainable physical planning are not likely to grow well.
He said that the relative peace and sustainable growth being enjoyed by the advanced world were traceable to their purposive and time-tested physical planning regimes.
Mr Bako said that if our cities and towns were well-planned, it would be very easy for security agencies to nip crimes and criminality in the bud.
He said that the current situation of things in the country had made it very difficult and hazardous for the police and other security agents to trace locations of crimes.
Mr Bako further stated that apart from the urban segments of some state capitals that had some semblance of meaningful physical planning, most other towns in the country were not well-planned.
“This situation encourages perpetration of crimes, as being witnessed on daily basis in Nigeria,” he warned.
Mr Bako, therefore, urged the government to summon the political will and take urban planning seriously, to ensure that future expansions conformed to the master plans of those places.
He said that all existing cities must be improved upon in terms of renewal of infrastructural facilities and social characterisation of residents, including strict adherence to the rules of building structures.
“The older parts of our cities must not be left to ruin, as the consequences of doing so will global environmental collapse,” Mr Bako said.