By Abiodun Jamiu
KWARA State Government has announced the implementation of a new city master plan for the state capital, Ilorin, during a semi-virtual cabinet meeting held Thursday evening.
Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, Kwara State Commissioner for Information, said in a statement issued on Friday that the Council approved the award of the contract of the designing of the master plan to one Dar-Al-Handasah Consultants Ltd at the cost of N600 million for a duration of 15 months.
This is coming decades after the only master plan of the city was designed by the former military regime of the late Brigadier-General David Bamigboye.
Afolabi-Oshatimehin stated that the new master plan was necessitated by the spiraling population growth and challenges of physical development in the city.
Also, Rotimi Suleiman Iliasu, the state’s Commissioner for Works and Transport said the ministry adopted selective tendering for the job due in part to its technical nature and the stellar track record of the company 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 Ltd which offered to do the job at N600,000,000 and Akom Construction and Engineering Synergy Ltd which bid for N899,850,000.00.
According to the statement, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Governor of Kwara State explained that the master plan became necessary to allow for proper development while also preparing for the future.
Abdulrazaq said other major cities in the state would also have master plans developed for them.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
While stressing the need to plan the city well for the current realities and the future, the governor said the future development expectations demanded that proper plan be put in place.
“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.”