The Federal University of Technology, Akure

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning was established in 1990. In that year, there was only one core lecturer, and 19 students were admitted through the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) into the ‘100 level’. The Department did not need to make use of part-time lecturers because the 100 level courses were mostly taken across the University. During the 1991/92 academic year, the Department appointed four lecturers, two as assistant lecturers. One of the four lecturers took up the headship of the Department as the coordinator. Most of the courses at the 200 level were either university courses or those that cut across the school. In this regards, the lecturers were able to cope with the core courses without employing additional part-time lecturers.

In the 1992/93 session the Department employed two additional lecturers. The student population grew to 37 at 100 level, 8 at 200 level, and 11 at 300 level. In the 1993/94 session, a senior lecturer joined the Department and took over the headship and 21 new students were admitted. With five core lecturers, two part-time lecturers were employed. During the course of 1994 the Department had a joint advisory accreditation visit by the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and the Nigerian Town Planner Registration Council (TOPREC). TOPREC’s report showed that the Department was on course.

The 1995/96 academic year was the graduating year for the Department’s first set of students. The Department had a professional accreditation visit by the NITP/TOPREC Joint Visitation Team. The Department successfully secured three-year accreditation status. This was credible because it meant that our graduating students were qualified to register as corporate members of NITP after two years of pupillage as a graduate members of the NITP. The result of the first set of students was very impressive where seven students graduated with one achieving an upper second class pass, and the rest lower second class passes.

Staff Development

1996/97 was a memorable year in the Department. Three more academic staff were employed. One of the lecturers in the Department went on study leave on a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States of America. It was the same academic year that the University Senate approved doctor of philosophy (PhD) and master of technology (MTech) degree programmes to be run by the Department. Five of the academic staff of the Department were admitted into the PhD programme on a part-time basis. Since the PhD programme is essentially conducted by research, two of the academic staff in the school (a professor and a senior lecturer) served as supervisors to the registered PhD students. They were assisted by other supervisors based at Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife), the University of Ibadan and the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) in Ibadan. Four of the PhD students that were below the status of senior lecturer were granted full sponsorship under the University Staff Development Scheme but all of them individually secured University Research Grants to carry out their PhD research. Three of the academic staff have been recommended for different overseas fellowship programmes. At the same time, the School of Environmental Technology had signed a memorandum of understanding with Heriot-Watt University (United Kingdom) for exchange programmes and the training of academic staff. The Department is in search of universities in and outside Africa with which to have linkages.

Accreditation of the Academic Programmes

In November 1998, there was a National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation visit to consider the undergraduate programme run by the Department. The Department was able to secure an interim accreditation status of two years. The NITP/TOPREC re-accreditation visit was conducted in 2003 and the Department was granted professional accreditation status for five years. Ever since, the BTech Urban and Regional Planning programme has enjoyed professional accreditation status. The last visit was conducted by NITP/TOPREC in 2007 and all the professional programmes (i.e. BTech, PGDip and MTech) were granted full accreditations that would lapse in 2012.

In 2004, there was NUC re-accreditation visit to the Department. With the improvement in the quantity and quality of the staffing and teaching facilities in the Department, the BTech Urban and Regional Planning programme secured a five-year accreditation status and the School was rated as the best schools of environmental technology in the country. As of today, the Department has made significant improvement in all ramifications. The staffing situation has improved, with ten staff members holding PhD degrees; fifteen are professionally registered, and one enjoys the status of fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners; five are professors, including one on sabbatical appointment from the Federal University of Technology, Yola; two are readers; whilst three are senior lecturers.

Studios and Other Facilities

Each of the levels (100 to 500) has a fairly big drawing studio that can accommodate 70 students while a studio each is allocated to postgraduate and master degree programmes. Two studios are digitized (i.e. computer-aided design studios). The Department also has a GIS Laboratory and a model-making workshop. Members of staff are also involved in the coordination of the activities in the Department so as to assist Head of Department Prof J.A.B. Olujimi with effective administration.

Currently, the following staff coordinate the various units in the Department:

  • “Postgraduate Programme: Prof D.O. Olanrewaju”
  • “Postgraduate Diploma Programme: Dr A.A. Emmanuel”
  • “Examination: Mr O. O. Rotowa”
  • “Registration: Each of the levels has a registration officer, namely:
    • 100 level: Mr A.G. Adeyemi
    • 200 level: Miss A.O. Ogundiran
    • 300 level: Mr M.K. Alakinde
    • 400 level: Dr E.A. Olajuyigbe
    • 500 level: Dr M.A. Oyinloye”
  • “SIWES: Mr A.G. Adeyemi”
  • “Project/Seminar: Dr M.A. Oyinloye”
  • “Library: Dr J.O. Basorun and Mr I.O. Olamiju”
  • “Workshop/Designs studios: Three technologists, namely Mr J.O. Faseun, Mr I.O. Olamiju, and Mrs M.C. Ola-Omole”
  • “Computer Facilities: Mr I.O. Olamiju”
  • “Welfare: Messrs A.O. Ogundiran and M.C. Ola-Omole

Manpower Development and Relevance of the Programmes to the Needs of Society

The Department runs postgraduate diploma and master of technology degree programmes in urban and regional planning, whose graduates are registered by TOPREC.

The Department also runs a PhD programme in urban and regional planning. The graduates from these various programmes work in both federal and state ministries of physical planning and urban development, as well as other relevant ministries and parastatals in and outside Nigeria, while some work in private planning consulting firms.

The academic staff of the Department have teamed up with the staff of the planning ministry and participate in large-scale planning projects that are of benefit to society. Often, project sites within the immediate communities of the University are chosen for the teaching of students. At the completion of such projects, members of the communities are invited to witness the presentations. The Department has assisted in the training and re-training of staff of both the federal and state ministries of planning.