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Adopting participatory planning paradigm in rivers state: a catalyst or an impedance to effective community planning

International Journal of Hydrology
Brown Ibama,1,2 Eyenghe Tari,1,2 Boyle Sodieari Henderson3

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Participatory planning is a holistic paradigm entrenched in most advanced democracies to manage community planning where communities are critical stakeholders, co-owners and net beneficiaries of the planning scheme. However, the narrative is different in Rivers State and, by extension Nigeria due to the existing social disconnect and trust deficit between the proponents and beneficiaries of the planning scheme. Most times, the proponents are the government, MDAs, oil and gas multinationals, private investors, and the beneficiaries (host communities). This paper reviews the extant Urban and Regional Planning LawsNigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law NURPL Decree 88 of 1992 now CAP N138 LFN 2004 and the Rivers State Physical Planning and Development Law No. 6 of 2003 are operational in Nigeria and Rivers State. However, findings from the review indicate no section or provision in these planning laws and regulations where participatory planning is considered part of the laws. Thus, making participatory planning very difficult to achieve in Rivers State and Nigeria. Therefore, the review recommends that all extant Planning laws be amended with Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation added as sections of these planning laws. The review further generated a new framework to achieve effective participatory planning such that when included in the extant laws. This framework, if adopted, would enhance holistic, participatory planning in most communities because the community members are co-owners and critical stakeholders in the entire planning project.


catalyst, community, impedance, paradigm, participatory planning