Nigerian town planners at a session in Washington in the 1970s.
Nigerian town planners at a session in Washington, UK in Oct. 1976 Source: Tyne & Wear Archives

The Yoruba News FEB 10th, 1925



Shakespeare was right when he sang:

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, if taken at the flow, leads to success”

This trite saying also applies to the affairs of nations and towns. There is presently a good opportunity for the Ibadan Native Administration to carry out a great deal of needed improvements in the town.

It was about seven months ago that a Petition for the supply of good Drinking Water for the huge population of Ibadan was got up and submitted to the Authorities by the people; and from all accounts, it appears the proposal was favourably considered and approved: for we have since learnt that a scheme is being drawn up for the execution of necessary works in connection with thee brining of pure water from two of our large rivers into the town.

The return of the dry season has seriously increased the town’s need of good water not only for drinking purposes but for its domestic use as well. Good water is required in the preparation of Ogi, or Wet Corn-Flour used for Agidi the staple food of the country, besides all other culinary purposes. The Dyers also require good water for dyeing clothings generally used in the country to avoid the spreading of contagious diseases; likewise The laundress.

The prevailing dry season has more than anything else greatly accentuates the scarcity of water in the town, and the necessity for prompt attention by the authorities in this respect in order to safeguard the health of the people.

But the pipes will have to be laid all over the town before we can have our Water Supply. This matter of water-piping laying, brings us to the question of our roads. We have often asked ourselves how and where the pipes will be laid in order to supply every quarter of the town at convenient points with good water when brought into the town.

It is true that so many roads and streets covering the whole town have already been plotted, but these only exist on paper and at the present rate of construction, will require many years before completion.

Meanwhile the foundations of new buildings are being laid at the rate of ten per day in every part of the town. It means 3000 new substantially built houses in the town every year at the least computation, and 30% of which would be affected more or less when the new roads and streets in the town are being constructed; because these fine buildings are being erected along the important thoroughfares in the town.

We consider that it will be the best plan to have all the proposed roads, streets and lanes laid out at once all over the town, in order to avoid the payment of heavy compensations to owners of such buildings in the near future. The system of pegging out the extension alignments of the existing motor roads in the town is the most economical, and should be extended to the layout of all the proposed roads and lanes without delay.

The present Administration Engineer (Mr. Jones) and his assistants are so busily engaged supervising and directing operations on public works in every art of the town and Province that they scarcely have sufficient resting time at night. The urgency of this matter – the laying out of the much needed roads and lanes in town is such that the engagement of a Surveyor is an absolute necessity.

The Ibadan Native Administration has a golden opportunity presented to it today, which should be seized upon to re-adjust the present war-cam shape of the town to avoid overcrowding in the future, and the continual encroachments of private buildings upon the narrow thoroughfares.

Once the streets are properly laid out, the work of numbering all the houses by the Tribute Officials for Assessment purposes will be greatly simplified. It would then be easy to lay the Water-pipes and place the posts for Electric Lightning at convenient intervals all over the town.

We respectfully submit this to the Authorities for their consideration.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer