By Abiodun OBA

Stakeholders in the development of Iseyin community have been called upon to evolve an urbanisation master plan that will speed up needed growth of the people.

A Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the University of Ibadan, Professor Bolanle Wahab, gave the charge on Saturday during the Pioneer Movement Iseyin (PMI) annual lecture, scholarship and teachers’ awards, held at Iseyin City Hall.

He listed such areas of coverage to include security, town planning, economic development, employment growth, education and healthcare support programs among others.

In the lecture titled; “Opportunities and Challenges of Urbanisation,” Wahab highlighted the positive and negative effects of a community’s change from an ancient town to an urbanised city to include increase in commercial activities and business opportunities which will lead to rise in crime and poor residence layout.

He said the establishment of the College of Agricultural Science and Renewable Natural Resources of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso (LAUTECH) and two private polytechnic campuses in the town has led to influx of students and people who have started different their businesses in the community.

Professor Wahab charged residents of Iseyin whose means of survival are attached to local crafts like Aso-Ofi weaving, aluminium pots, goldsmith among others to put more effort into the works so that outsiders would enter into the businesses and take them over.

He also lamented the mass exodus of farmers from the hinterlands to Iseyin as urbanization started taking place, leading to shortage in farming hands and food production and urged members of Pioneer Movement, Iseyin (PMI) to lead a crusade to bring about an urbanization masterplan for Iseyin community.

“The community should be prepared to take control of its peculiar skill works and ancient crafts like Aso-Ofi, goldsmith, aluminium pots production and the rest to get the best from the emerging economy that would follow the expanding population and development, they should not allow external business interests to take over the businesses from them.

“As Iseyin is expanding and commerce is booming, farmers are also leaving their farms to partake in business, which is affecting food production.

“There is need for development plan for Iseyin city if we want Iseyin to be among the best communities in Nigeria and Africa, we all have to come together as stakeholders, do not leave it to politicians, engage other organizations, NGOs and others to make Iseyin the pride of its residents.”

The Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Sefiu Olawale Oyebola, Adeyeri 111, who was the Royal Father of the day, saluted the efforts of members of Pioneer Movement over the scholarship program and financial incentives to outstanding teachers at public schools in Iseyin.

The monarch said the teachers award program will motivate the teachers to do more in building and nurturing the future leaders.

The President of Pioneer Movement, Iseyin, Barrister Abimbola Ojedokun said the 2023 Annual Lecture and Scholarship/Teachers Awards was the 37th Edition of the organization as 1850 students have earned the PMI’s scholarship grants while 105 outstanding teachers have been honoured as the teachers awards started fifteen years ago.

Ojedokun appreciated Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for opening the Iseyin community to development through road networks and establishment of the LAUTECH College in the town.

He added that the Pioneer Movement was planning to establish an Education Resort Center in Iseyin to help students and academia access materials that will aid research for development.

A thanksgiving service is scheduled to hold at the First Baptist Church, Koso Iseyin, to end the 2023 edition of the event which had witnessed many programmes of events.

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