A new master plan has been approved for Ilorin, the capital city of Kwara State, decades after the first and the last one was designed by the former military regime of the late Brigadier-General David Bamigboye.
The plan comes amid spiralling population growth and challenges of physical development and climate change in Nigeria’s seventh most populous city.
At a semi-virtual cabinet meeting held on Thursday evening, the State Executive Council approved the award of contract for the design and implementation of a new master plan and subsequent training of relevant government agencies and students in the state-owned schools to a world class firm Dar-Al-Handasah Consultants Limited at the cost of N600 million for a duration of 15 months.
The council awarded the contract after thoroughly debating a presentation by Commissioner for Works and Transport Rotimi Suleiman Iliasu who explained that the Ministry adopted selective tendering for the job owing to its technical nature and recommended the firm on account of its track record as the number one planning and designing firm in Africa and the sixth in the United States in 2019.
He said a total of four prominent firms were originally invited for restricted tendering process in November 2019: Fola Consultant, which bid for N175,268,977.68; Bluenile Associates, which quoted N1,784,459,257.00; Dar-Al-Handasah Consultants Limited that offered to do the job at N600,000,000.00; and Akom Construction and Engineering Synergy Limited, which bid for N899,850,000.00.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq remarked that the master plan became necessary to allow for proper development, prepare for the future and halt unplanned growth that is creating urban slums and other avoidable crisis of development in the city.
AbdulRazaq said other major cities in the state would also have master plans developed for them.
He said: “The committee for Offa/Oyun master plan is already in place and it’s working; the one for Patigi will start soon.
“Same for Lafiagi, Omu Aran, and others.
“This is not just the end; all our cities will get urban master plans so we can organise the way we live.
“We can plan our infrastructure.
“There are parts of Ilorin today that we cannot get infrastructure to because people have built haphazardly.
“We need to plan how we live not just now but also how we live in the future.
“In 50 years time, for example, would we still be using this same Ilorin Airport or there will be another airport designated somewhere?
“Because the Ilorin airport will be right in the heart of the city of Ilorin in about 50 years time.
“That’s why we need planned neighbourhood, planned environment and our various institutions.”