Home news Remember Catherine George, Nigeria’s 1st Female Town Planner?

Remember Catherine George, Nigeria’s 1st Female Town Planner?

Mrs Catherine Kehinde George 

Does anybody
still remember the good ol’ Lady George, Mama Town Planner?
Maybe she is a bit further up the ladder from your generation. A twin and the 4th
child of Pastor (Surveyor) and Mrs. S. A. Sogunro-Pitan, Mrs Catherine Kehinde George is the kind of person you can tag effervescent and swashbuckling.
I met her at a recent professional event this year and was amazed at her level of charisma. The meeting
even turned out to be a fantastic one as I discovered, to my dismay, that she
is the mother-in-law of a very good friend and client – Pharmacist Bukola
George. For the record, Bukky George (as she is fondly called) is the owner of CasaBella
and HealthPlus,
the biggest retail pharmacy chain in Nigeria.
Born at
Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on Monday June 14, 1948, Mrs. Catherine Kehinde George attended
St. Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, Ijebu-Ode; Our Lady of Apostles
Secondary Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode, (1958 -1963); and Ijebu – Ode Grammar School,
(1964). She commenced her Town Planning education at The Technical College (now
The Polytechnic) Ibadan in 1965, where she was an outstanding student,
graduating in 1967. She completed post-graduate Diploma in Town and Regional
Planning with Honours at the University of Melbourne, Australia in December
1972, becoming the first female Nigerian Professional Town Planner.
At Lagos
State Development and Property Corporation (1973 – 1979), she was the Project
Planner on several schemes, which included Ogba Housing Scheme and Amuwo Odofin
New Town.
She led
the Lagos State Technical Monitoring Team to define the most feasible route for
the 28km Lagos Metro Line Project (1981 – 82). She was Consultant Project
Planner for 500 Housing Units Estate in Ajaokuta (Techno-crete Limited 1982 –
85), and Lead Planner for University of Uyo Master Plan (1993); Lead Planner,
Odonla Housing Scheme, Lagos State, (2000-2002); Lead Planner, Galadimawa
District Plan, Abuja, FCT (2001-06); and Co-Project Director, Ikorodu Master
Plan (2008 -201 0 Inception to Draft Final Stage).
She has
presented several papers at grassroots, national and international fora. She
authored “Basic Principles and Methods of Urban and Regional
Planning” 1st Edt. 1999, 2nd Edt. 2002, 3rd Edt. 2007; receiving national
and international commendation. Her other publications are “The
Challenges of Urbanisation in Nigerian Urban Centres: THE LAGOS MEGA-CITY
SITUATION, A Town Planner’s Perspective”
2009,· and “Wedding
2010, a reflection of her experience at the home front in
raising her kids. “Basic Principles and Methods of Urban and Regional
Planning” 4h Edition and “Urbanisation and The Lagos Mega-City”
were published in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
She was
the first female Fellow of the Nigerian Institute Town Planners (1987) and
first African female Fellow of The Royal Town Planning Institute of Britain
(1990). Inducted into Nigerian Women Hall of Fame, Abuja, in November 2007 as the
first female African Town Planner; she is a recipient of several honours and
was pioneer Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Planning Authority (1998 – 1999);
first female Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of
Town Planners (1998 – 2000); Vice – Chairperson of Yaba College of Technology
Chapter of Women in Technical Education (WITED) 1996 – 2000; Member NITP /
TOPREC Examination Board (1998 – 2000); Pioneer Chairman Lagos State Urban
Forum for Slum Upgrading 2001-2003; member of the Building Collapse Prevention
Guild (BCPG), June 2012 to date; pioneer Chairman, Lagos State Chapter BCPG,
Feb 2013 – Oct. 2014.
She also
lectured on the Masters Programme in Urban & Regional Planning, Lagos State
University (2011 to 2013). She is presently a Town Planning Consultant, and an
She was a
recipient of several honours and awards, some of which are:-
March 2, 2011, as a “Distinguished Professional” by the
Faculty of Environmental Design and Management, Obafemi Awolowo University
Ile-Ife, Nigeria, in recognition and appreciation of her invaluable
contribution to the Built Environment Profession, particularly in Urban and
Regional Planning.
July 28, 2011 Induction into Construction Industry Hall of Fame by
Construction Engineering Digest Forum at Abuja. Award for Professional
Excellence in the practice of Town Planning received from Ijebu Professional
Excellence Foundation on May 17, 2012 at Ijebu-Ode.
Merit Appreciation Award as most outstanding female Town Planner
from Nigerian Institute of Town Planners on the Occasion of the Institutes
Golden Jubilee Celebrations at Abuja, Nigeria on November 3, 2016.
she is married to Arc. Gilbert Akintola George FNIA.
FAMILY TIE: Jide George, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi (chairman of the occasion), Mrs Catherine George and Toyin George turned up to give mum solidarity at the event
earlier mentioned, she is a twin and beloved mother of Engineer Jide George (Bukky George’s hubby), Pharmacist Toyin George who
presently works with NNPC and the second son, a pilot – em… em… (is it Tunde?).

My bad!!!
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Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis is a communicator, Journalist, blogger, business coach and, of course, a prolific writer. He has Dip (Journalism) and B.A. (History & International Relations) from the Lagos State University (LASU). The self-effacing young man has worked for national, regional and local newspapers. He had worked with THISDAY covered community news for ISLAND NEWS and corresponded with P.M. NEWS (evening tabloid). Presently, he is the editor of CITYPULSE MEDIA and senior correspondent of PHARMANEWS, West Africa foremost health and pharmaceutical journal.


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