UNILAG SAN Scrutinises City Planning in Nigeria, Calls for Reform at 14th Inaugural Lecture

A renowned Professor of Private and Property Law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos, Professor Oludayo Gabriel Amokaye, has called for reforms in the planning and development of sustainable cities in Nigeria. He made the call while delivering the fourteenth (14th) Inaugural Lecture in the 2021/2022 Academic Session of the University on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade T. Ogunsola, FAS, presided over the lecture entitled: Planning and Development of Sustainable Cities in Nigeria Sine Lege: Quo Vadis?

A seasoned academic with over 90 published and delivered papers, locally and internationally, Professor Amokaye interrogated the relevance and utility of law in the actualisation of efficient and effective sustainable city planning and governance in Nigeria using critically coined definitions. He identified ten (10) acceptable global standards and indices set by the United Nations Habitats in determining the characteristics of cities.

Using these indices, with relevant graphs and data, in three major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, Professor Amokaye investigated and analysed the extent of compliance with sustainable development practices taking place within these major cities and the level of actualization of the SDGs, particularly SDG11 in determining the safety, inclusiveness, resilience, and sustainability of Nigerian cities. Using these parameters, he concluded that Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt cities are not sustainable, and the quality of life of urban dwellers in these cities is below standard.

Professor Amokaye provided incisive and reliable recommendations that could guide governments, urban policymakers, academia, and students in formulating and implementing rules, regulations, and policies on contemporary urban spatial planning and governance. He called for:

  • Increased Financial Commitment to City Development
  • Cooperative Federalism
  • Improved Access to Land
  • Regularisation and Upgrading of Informally Developed Areas
  • Integrated Physical Planning Policies and Laws: Review of Existing Law and Practice
  • Promotion of Public Participation and Public Interest Litigation in Planning and Environmental Laws
  • Effective and Efficient Enforcement of Physical Planning Legislation
  • Collection of Demographic Data and Migration Pattern and Trends Distribution

Professor Amokaye was born in Lagos State on Thursday, March 21, 1963 into the family of Late Pa Augustus Babatunde and Madam Cecilia Amokaye of Ogun State, Nigeria. In 2016, he was appointed a Professor of Private and Property Law at the University of Lagos and joined the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria in 2022. He is happily married and blessed with children.

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