It was a step in the right direction when the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), under the acting Rectorship of Mr Olumide Olushola Metilelu, gathered to brainstorm on the Ikorodu Sub – Region Master Plan and analyse its impact on the institution.
At the Stakeholders’ Meeting organized by the institution at the 500 – Seater Auditorium, School of Agriculture, lkorodu main campus on Friday, September 11, 2020, stakeholders called for the harmonisation of the Master Plan’s proposals with the institution’s Strategic Plans which allocated various aspects of the Polytechnic’s lands for developmental projects.
The Lagos State Government had called for public engagements on the proposed Ikorodu Sub-Region Master Plan (2016-2036).
The State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, had last month, disclosed that the document will be on display for 28days in twelve different centres across the State, starting from Monday 24th August to 30th September, 2020.
LASPOTECH Stakeholders, at the deliberation, expressed serious concern over the proposed railway station that is expected to berth on the institution’s land, thereby, taking over lands already allocated for the construction of Sports Centre, hostels and proposed facilities.
The impact of the railway station and others on the academic environment, in terms of noise and traffic, among other issues, also attracted the attention of scholars and other stakeholders present at the meeting.
They called for concerted effort on the part of the government and citizenry in ensuring that inputs are made and that the plans which are already four years behind schedule are implemented for proper development to be attained.
Mr Olumide Olushola Metilelu, acting Rector, Lagos State Polytechnic, speaking at the meeting, said that the academic institution is playing its role in setting agenda for community development, especially its host community and by extension , the state and the nation at large.
“Ikorodu Sub – Region Master Plan is ongoing and it is going to be for 2016 to 2036, and as a responsible academic institution, it is important that when they are doing something within and beyond our community and when issues that have to do with national discourse are being brought to the front burner for discussion, we have to make our own input”, he said.
“Immediately that I got to know about this process, I requested for the Master Plan and see how it affects our immediate community and the Polytechnic and that is why we are organizing this stakeholders meeting to see how we can make our own meaningful contributions”.
Leading in the discourse on the Polytechnic’s position on the Ikorodu Sub – Region Master Plan, the acting Rector said that the effect of the plan on the certain projects is of great concern to the institution.
“While one of my colleagues, Mr Fosudo, was speaking on the framework on the Master Plan, he stated that there will be a Railway Station that may likely affect the proposed students hostels and the sports complex for the Polytechnic .
“Of course, that will give us some concerns. The Fourth Mainland Bridge will be beneficial because it will bring both economic and social prosperity to the entire community, however, as a tertiary institution, sports complex is key for us and sporting activities could also expose students to various opportunities, but the moment that sports complex is no longer there, it is an issue”, Mr Metilelu emphasized.
“We need to look at all of these and also advise the government to look at, perhaps, redirecting that or the probability of moving the sports complex to another location. These are discussions that are actually ongoing.
“It is very germane to look at all of these as an institution.
“In the whole of Ikorodu Division, our proposed sporting facility is expected to serve the entire Ikorodu region. I think that it is a serious issue that we need to look at as one family.
“We also must continue to consider that if we lose part of our landmass, it is going to be a serious issue.
“We are thinking and the government is also working on turning this Polytechnic into a University of Polytechnic status.
“As our students’ population is increasing, our institution’s infrastructures also need to increase and our need now will obviously not be the same in the next 15 years.
“In the process of looking at this Master Plan, it is also essential that we take all of these into consideration”.
The acting Rector stated further that the institution is also particularly concerned about the effects of the Master Plan on the Polytechnic’s host community.
“We also must not forget that as we are doing this, we also must not forget our Town and Gown relationship. As this industry is growing, we are expecting that they should have a relationship with the institution. This is why it is important to look at the Polytechnic’s Master Plan on its own as it fits into what we are looking at.
“On the issue of environmental impact assessment, of course, you also need to look at the carrying capacity of our infrastructure and use it for projection.
“I also observe that stages of implementation are not part of this Master Plan. We need such information to assist us as an institution in implementing our own strategic plan”, the acting Rector observed.
The Dean, School of Environmental Studies, Arch. Ajibade Adeyemo, speaking with THE IMPACT, said that it is the responsibility of the institution to create platforms for issues critical to human existence to be discussed.
He said that the Stakeholders’ meeting was called purposely to look at how the Master Plan would affect the institution.
“It is our responsibility to highlight this issue as to how it affects the Lagos State Polytechnic. That is the whole essence and reasons this stakeholders’ meeting has been put in place”, he said.
“It is for us to sit down as a think -tank and not just as members of a mere Ivory tower. We should also consider the Town and the Gown relationship and also look at the beneficial things and others that are negative.
He also added voice to the position of the Rector that sporting activities are critical to academic development.
“As an institution, we have the opportunity not just on one occasion to have led the National Polytechnic Games and you heard the lead speaker that essentially where you don’t have open spaces for young people to grow, there is certainly no way that you are going to develop them.
“The issue of our sports centre is in the front burner. It is also equally important for most of the courses that we do here, particularly in my school, Arts and Industrial Design, Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning and others. These are courses that require that students should be on the campus 24 hours”, the senior lecturer emphasized.
“Whatever that is going to affect us in not having the hostels is very germane and important and requires that we discuss it properly”.
He said that the meeting was to assist the government in proper planning and implementation of its policies for sustainable development.
“The Governor is our Moderator and we should be seen as helping him to ensure that we have sustainable development and that the Master Plan is eventually achieved”, he said.
“Whatever we are able to collate here will be put together and we will find a way to get it to the Governor.
“Since we have started planning this gathering, we have discovered that other stakeholders who are our neighbours have been claomouring for us to take the lead so as for them to equally be able to express themselves”.
The scholar said that the institution is also interested in how the Master Plan will affect its host community.
“So, this is the first step to look at how the Master Plan affects us as Lagos State Polytechnic and then, provide the lead for neighbouring communities and other institutions. Ours will be the foundation or basis upon which we are going to get the collective will of the people together to input them into the Master Plan.
“It is our duty as an institution to ensure that the interest of the town is protected because without the Town, we, as Gown, cannot exist. We exist to ensure the sustainability of the physical, social and economic aspects of the entire society”, he said.
The guest speaker, Dr Tunji Adejumo, a Landscape Architect/Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos, Akoka, in his paper, said that the Ikorodu Sub – Region Master Plan is a report which provides a comprehensive detail of proposed plans, strategies and policy framework for Ikorodu Sub-Region over the next twenty (20) years.
He added that the master plan will serve as part of the policy framework documents for the growth of the sub-region.
Highlighting the objectives of the plans, Dr Adejumo stated:
“To provide an implementation framework which forms the basis for policy making and planning decisions;
“To guide short, medium and long term physical development, based on the social and economic needs of the Sub-Region;
“To ensure adequate allocation of land for residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructure and public facilities to create sustainable and high-quality, eco-friendly working and living environments”.
The scholar informed stakeholders in LASPOTECH and others that the proposed Master Plan will affect physical developments and charged them to look at the document to see if their expectations in the period captured by the document are met and communicate to the necessary government arm, if not.
While describing the document as a work in progress, the guest lecturer also raised salient questions for stakeholders to ponder over, when he asked in his conclusion that:
“Is the interest you expressed during the town hall meeting, Ikorodu Opinion Leaders FGD, Interviews met? Will 2036 Ikorodu people live a decent life? Do you agree with the conceptualized urban morphology? And how does this plan accommodate LASPOTECH expectations?”
Presenting the conceptual framework of the proposed document, Dr Peter Fosudo, the Head of Department, …, LASPOTECH, said that in achieving the proposed plans, government adopted a three-dimensional inclusive planning process which encompassed the active participation of all stakeholders towards determination of overall strategy for urban development of the Sub-Region.
He stated that LASPOTECH, as a Stakeholder Institution, decided to organise the meeting to look into the general and specific impact of the proposed Master Plan on the Polytechnic.
He put the population of the inhabitants of the area captured by the Master Plan, which he described as the gateway corridor for Lagos metropolis, at about 1.8 million.
Examining the impact of Master plan on LASPOTECH, Dr Fosudo said that:
“The Southern part of the Polytechnic, which was meant to accommodate Stadium/Sports center, Five Star Hotel and Student Hostel, has been proposed for Train station and Stadium.
“The implication of this is that the Polytechnic would not have a sports centre to herself any longer, while the proposed Students’ hostel will have to be relocated.
“Although, this Train station and Stadium will project the image of the Polytechnic as a major transport terminus, but this may also bring so much noise and security threats to our institution. Thus, an Environmental Impact Assessment would be required.
Still looking at the effects of the proposed plans on the institution, the scholar added that:
“The Fourth Mainland Highway is proposed to pass through the South-Western edge of the campus.
“A major ease to the Polytechnic is the Odogunyan to Lucky Fibre link road. This will reduce the flow of thoroughfare traffic within the campus.
“An Environmental Impact Assessment of the implication of this Highway should be done in earnest, since this is what the educational Institution will live with for a long time”, he said.
“The Polytechnic Management should look into this, find appropriate solutions and submit the same to the appropriate Authority of Lagos State Government”, he charged.