Monday, October 24, 2016

Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Decree No 88 Of 1992

Summary of the Nigeria Urban and Regional Planing (NURP) Decree NO 88 of 1992.


urban and regional planning law
Prior to the enactment of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Decree of 1992 in the country, there have been several ordinances and laws put in place either by the colonial administrators or the Nigerian government, which in one way or the other had facilitated the growth of Town and Country planning as well as its scope. These ordinances and laws include but not limited to: the 1863 Town Improvement Ordinance, 1904 Cantonment Proclamation, 1917 Township Ordinance, 1928 Lagos Town Planning Ordinance, 1946 Town and Country Ordinance, Western Nigerian Town and Country Planning Law Cap 130 of 1959, Northern Nigerian Town and Country Planning Law Cap 130 of 1963, Eastern Nigerian Town and Country Planning Law Cap 126 of 1963, Town and Country Planning of Bendel state of 1976, Kwara state Town Planning and Development Authority Edict of 1984, Ogun state Town and Country Planning Law Cap 127 of 1978, etc.

Although, 1946 Town and Country Ordinance (modeled after 1932 British Town and Country Planning Law) was enacted for the whole Nigeria by the British government, it is pertinent to say here that the three regional based Town and Country Planning Laws (the Western Nigerian Town and Country Planning Law Cap 130 of 1959, the Northern Nigerian Town and Country Planning Law Cap 130 of 1963 and the Eastern Nigerian Town and Country Planning Law Cap 126 of 1963), took their sources from the 1946 Town and Country Ordinance. Subsequent Town and Country Planning Laws in Nigeria states took their sources from these regional based Laws. For example, Town and Country Planning Law of Bendel state of 1976, the Town and Country Planning Law of Ogun state of 1978, the Town and Country Planning Law of Ondo state 1978, all took their sources from the Western Nigerian Town and Country Planning Law Cap 130 of 1959.
The Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Decree of 1992 was enacted to form a basis of common and uniform practice for the nation and to coordinate standard development control in the country. It was promulgated by the federal military government on 15th of December, 1992.

The General and Specific Objectives of the Nigeria Urban and Regional Planning Decree of 1992.

General Objective

To facilitate the preparation and implementation of development plans and planning schemes, with a view of creating a better environment for living, working and recreation.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives are summarized as follows: 
  • To identify type and level of physical development plans, plan preparation procedures and responsibilities of the administrative bodies concern (PLAN PREPARATION AND IMPLEMENTATION). 
  • To give more seriousness to development control (DEVELOPMENT CONTROL). 
  • To ensure effective control in special cases like wasteland, tree preservation, building of special architectural and historical significance and advertisement (ADDITIONAL CONTROL IN SPECIAL CASES). 
  • To empower the planning authority in acquisition of land for planning purpose and payment of compensation and betterment (LAND ACQUISITION AND COMPENSATION). 
  • To ensure that areas that need improvement are attended to by the planning authority in conjunction with residents in the areas (IMPROVEMENT AREAS: REHABILITATION, RENEWAL, UPGRADING). 
  • To ensure fair-hearing and justice to everybody as far as planning is concern through the establishment of Urban and Regional Planning Tribunal in each state and the Federal Capital Territory.

Parts of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Decree NO 88 of 1992.

Part I: Plan Preparation and Administration.

The decree provides the types of development plans to be prepared and implemented at the federal, state and local levels. At the federal level, the types of physical development plans include: National physical development plan, regional plan, sub regional plan, urban plan and subject plan. At the state level: regional plan, sub-regional plan, urban plan, local plan and subject plan. While at the local level: town plan, rural plan, local plan, and subject plan (Section 1).
Section (2-4) states the responsibilities of the federal, state and the local government with respect to preparation of physical development plan and administration (ADMINISTRATION). Section 5 – 12 further establishes certain bodies, their composition and their functions in plan preparation and implementation. These bodies are the National Urban and Regional Planning Commission (the Commission), the State Urban and Regional Planning Board (the Board), the Local Planning Authority (the Authority) for the federal, state and local government respectively.
The need for public participation in plan preparation cannot be over-emphasized. Therefore, Section 13-26 (Procedure) provides that interested member of the public and non-governmental organizations should participate in the planning preparation. Their suggestions, objections and comments should be considered in preparing the “draft National Physical Development Plan” after which it would be scrutinized and approved by appropriate legislative body to produce the “Operative National Development Plan”.

Part II: Development Control.

Development control is the process of ensuring that the development carried out by a developer is in compliance with the physical development plan proposals in other to achieve better environment for living, working and recreation.

Section 27 provides that the Commission, Board and Authority are to set up Development Control Departments (DCD) which would be responsible for the control of developments in their jurisdiction. According to section 28-30, the development plans of a developer either private or government agencies should be drawn by a registered Architect, Town planner and Engineer. Also, no development can take place without planning approval from DCD. The DCD must provide the reasons of rejection of any development plan to the developer or applicant of a development permit. The decree provides that the DCD request for the submission of detailed Environmental Impact Assessment for some categories of development plan application (Section 33).

A development permit issued to a developer is only valid for 2 years from the communication of the approval. Hence, where a developer fails to commence development within 2 years, the development permit shall be subjected to re-validation by the DCD (Section 35). However, the decree provides for fair-hearing and justice for unsatisfied developer whose development permit was altered, amended, varied or revoked to appeal to Planning Tribunal within 28 days. Conditions involved in revoking development permit involve matters of overriding public interest as provided for in Section 28(2-3) of the Land Use Act of 1978. Sections 42-46 provide the conditions when compensation is payable and non-payable to a developer whose development permits is revoked.

Sections 47-63 contain the enforcement subtopic. The decree provides that the DCD may serve “enforcement notice” to the owner of a residential land, commercial land, etc, to alter, vary, remove or discontinue a development wherever the development commenced without the approval of the DCD even if the development took place before the commencement of the decree (Section 47-48). This is to ensure that development becomes lawful and compatible with the adjoin land use (Section 50). Therefore, the DCD shall enforce Planning Tribunal or High Court order against developer who fail to comply with the enforcement notice (Section 51). “A stop work” order shall be served to a developer, occupier or holder for the time being of a development permit if the development does not comply with the development permit issued by the DCD. This is followed by an enforcement notice ordering the developer to alter, vary, remove or discontinue the development within 21 days (Section 53-56). Also, DCD shall serve demolition notice to a developer if his development poses threat or constitutes nuisance to the occupiers and the public. This should be served 21 days before demolition (Section 61).

Part III: Additional Control in Special Cases.

Under this are sections 64-74 and it deals with such issues as exercising control on outdoor advertisement, wasteland, tree (afforestation) and buildings of special, architectural or historical interest. The decree empowers the DCD to compile a list of buildings of architectural and historical interest with regards to certain conditions, after which the compiled list is published in the Gazette (Section 64-70). It becomes therefore an offense for anybody to alter, demolish, and extend the published buildings (Section 71). The DCD are empowered to make preservation and planting of trees (Section 72). They are also to control outdoor advertisements by regulating the size, dimensions, appearance, display, etc. Also no persons should display or site advertisement on land without the consent of the DCD (Section 73).

Part IV: Acquisition of Land and Compensation

This part is contained in Section 75 to 78. It deals with such matters as power to revoke acquired occupancy, compensation to the owner of right occupancy in accordance with provision of Land Use Act of 1978, recovery of betterment from owners of land or property.


What is compensation?

Compensation is the amount payable to a developer and occupancy of land whose acquired occupancy rights has been revoked in accordance to implementation of any development plan and due to matters of overriding public interest (NURP Decree 1992, Section 75; Land Use Act of 1978).

According Section 76(3) Compensation may not be paid to any person who contravenes existing scheme and person may forfeit land and any building and cultural artifacts attached to it for breach of scheme.

What is Betterment?

Betterment is the amount of money recovered from owners of land and property that increase in value due to the facilitation and execution of work under a physical development plan. 

According to the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Decree, the DCD is empowered to recover betterment within 3 years after completion of the development. Money recovered would be used to pay compensation (Section 78(1- 4)).

What is Overriding Public interest? 


Part V: Improvement Areas- Rehabilitation, Renewal and Upgrading.

This is covered in Section 79-85. The planning authority is empowered to declare an area an improvement area. Hence, it is to produce and published local plan in the Gazette to facilitate the rehabilitation, renewal and upgrading of physical environment and infrastructure of the area to create better environment for living working and recreation. However, this is not complete or the plan would not be effective if there is no consultation of residents, relevant statutory authorities for their cooperation and participation (Section 79-81).

The authority has the power to grant, guarantee or facilitate granting of loans to person or groups to improve, repair or renovate housing and community facilities within the area; demolish buildings or part thereof and recover the cost of the demolition from the owner; repair and recover the cost of repair and pay compensation where necessary (Section 82).

If an aggrieved owner is displeased with the demolition order served to him by the Authority can appeal to the planning Tribunal or High Court of the state or FCT as the case may be, at least 28 days after service of the order.

There must be provisions in form of assistance by the authority to the occupier of a land before making an order or executing an order for demolition of building (Section 85). 

Part VI: Appeals.

This part talks about the establishment of the urban and regional planning tribunal, composition of the tribunals, tenure of office of the members of the tribunal and rules of procedure to be adopted by the tribunal (Section 86-90). For the purpose of ensuring fair hearing and justice to the member of the public and authorities, the decree provides for the establishment of Urban and Regional Planning Tribunal also known as the “Tribunal” in each states and FCT, Abuja. The tribunal shall consist of a chairman (a registered Town Planner with 15 years post qualification experience), an Architect, a legal practitioner knowledgeable in planning law, an Engineer and a Land Surveyor. These professionals shall be appointed by the Minister or Governor as the case may be with recommendations from the professional bodies concerned.


L.A. Adeyeye (2010), Understanding Urban and Regional Planning Law and Administration in Nigeria


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  3. Thank you so much,, pls I need something on protection of public servants in executing planning schemes in Nigeria. Will be grateful. Thankd