Appraisal Of The Urban Management Challenge Of Informal Land Delivery
Difficulty of access to land through the formal land supply system has necessitated the shift to other options for accessing land in our cities. These are considered as Informal Land Delivery System (ILDS). Since land is the pedestal upon which the fabric of the city exists and operates, it is pivotal to an efficient and effective urban management. The research set out to: appraise the nature and existing characteristics of ILDS in Karu Urban Area (KUA), identify the urban management problems and prospects of ILDS in KUA, identify the strategies of coping with it, and make recommendations of intervention in the land delivery system for improvement of the urban management of KUA.
Data collected and analyzed includes; land provided by the informal land delivery system in KUA, the roles of the actors in the system such as: number of plots sold by landholding households per year, average income generated per year, preference of the system by corporate developers, payment of taxes and levies, etc. The study revealed that approximately 6,396 Ha (63,960 plots of land, using standard measurement of 1000m2) were delivered through the ILDS. The landholding families supplied 74% of the plots of land. This has been accompanied with many challenges for the management of KUA. These include town planning, services and infrastructure provision constraints, etc. Conclusively, there is need to mitigate the challenges as KUA grows into a metropolis with complex uncoordinated systems. Recommendations were made for integrating the land supply systems towards effective urban management and sustainable KUA.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
This research captured precisely the nature and pattern of informal land delivery system (ILDS) in KUA. The key actors identified in the system include; the landholding families, individual developers (residents), corporate developers, Intermediaries (agents), and the professionals. The passive actors though great beneficiaries of the system are the Traditional Institutions.
The landholding families are the major players in the ILDS in KUA supplying over 70% of approximately six thousand (6000) Ha of land delivered through the informal system. The study reveals an average of eight (N8, 000,000) Million annual revenue generated by the landholding families from sale of their farm lands. Their influence suggests that any form of collaboration or interventionist approach in the ILDS in KUA will be to first capture their interest. The traditional institutions are in receipt of at least 21% of taxes paid over lands sold to both individuals and corporate developers. The land agents and professionals alike participated largely due to benefits such services offer them. They however act as value multipliers in the system, particularly the agents, and their marketing skills greatly influence the prices of land when delivered to the final consumer, since they charge averagely 5-10% of the total cost of land purchased. The intermediaries are crystallizing into groups and companies to enhance their chances and influence in the system. Reliability of the ILDS to both the individual and corporate developers shows that its „Strongly Reliable‟ as only 22.6% disputes recorded, out which 18.3% has already been resolved.
Informal land delivery presents mixed reactions in most of our cities, its contributory role in making land available within short period of time as well as other opportunities they tend to possess it also possess great challenge to how cities are managed. This study revealed these scenarios and the form they take in KUA. The lessons derivable from the activities of ILDS in KUA shows that if concerted efforts are not made to cope with this system in a harmonious and orderly manner, KUA will grow into a metropolis with complex systems which are uncoordinated and will prevent the city from achieving the goal of collective and even development.
Having taken stock of the various dimensions of urban land informality, this research has however proposed three coordinated approaches namely; partnership/cooperation with actors in the informal land delivery sector, introduction of local land administrators and land regularization. A combination of these three approaches seeks to achieve democratization of the land management process, cooperation and inclusiveness of the residence of KUA in their own affairs as this though difficult to achieve but promises better outcome.
5.2.1 Partnership and cooperation with actors in the informal land delivery sector
The path that creates co-operation, partnerships and mutual problem solving is ideal for adoption in KUA. Confrontation and disregard would breed antagonism and resistance from affected parties. Some practical symptoms of this include; threats, destructive criticism of land policies, manipulation and development of regressive climates in collaborative meetings and non-action. Negotiated outcomes are often a characteristic of accommodative strategies.
Land managers should adopt an integrative strategy that would at all times ensure collaboration with the major actors of land management. Such integration usually breeds negotiated outcomes that are characterized by constructive criticisms, progressive negotiation climates, good attendance in meetings, action. Such a stance also promotes joint outcomes and will often assist the land management practitioner to create more options for mutual gain. This option connotes the identification of social capital formations in KUA. This could be neighborhood associations, tribal groups, religious associations, community based associations, peer groups, skill based groups etc. since their actions are also manifesting in the informal delivery system in KUA. For example, Destiny Estate owned by DUNAMIS CHURCH a religious organization, Civil Defense Estate a Labour base organization. Collaborating with this groups will help in forming forums where challenges faced by actors and implications of such practices to the entire city can be mutually understood forming a platform for solution identification. For example, in the Philippines the Homeless People’s Federation of the Philippines started as a community base organization and subsequently spread throughout the country: Environment and Urbanization (2000). This organization deliberated with the government of Philippine after forming a sizeable capital base through self-help contribution scheme, they were able to acquire land at cheaper rate compare to the prevailing market value through negotiation with the government. They did not only achieve the acquisition of land for residential development, but gained access to pull of funds meant for housing development in the country through the capital base of the organization with the mortgage bank for housing unit development. The outcome of this kind of collaboration breeds inclusiveness and social coherence.
5.2.2 Introduction of Local Land Managers at District Levels
Fourie (1997) states that “optimal land management entails indispensably public guidance”. The introduction of a local land administrator at district levels within KUA offers a concrete solution. This will however be an offshoot of the earlier strategy of partnership and cooperation. This person should fit in the local social scene and manage change at the local level. A prerequisite for this would be good social skills and technical capacity as well as access to information concerning the range of issues that affect land delivery and sustainability. It would then be the responsibility of The Local Land Administrator to identify who „owns‟ what rights and assist in the transfer of this knowledge onto maps and land records. Such a land administrator who would also be responsible for coordinating land use controls at the local level “should make it possible to plan, upgrade, develop and supply housing and basic services much more quickly and effectively and in a more sustainable manner. A Land Administrator would serve to bring an informal land delivery system into the wider urban management system. To achieve this goal in a sustainable manner, it will require local manpower training in the areas of Town Planning, Land Surveying, Land Administration to assist the Land Administrator in achieving the goal of bringing the informal areas into the wider urban management system. The Skilled labour here should be locally sourced. This is because; the ILDS operates on local based arrangements. Since the initial idea is not to combat the ILDS but to refine its operation and in a way add value to its operation for mutual relationship for dual system of land delivery in our cities. The district offices of the land administrators should work closely with Local Government Authorities as a way of collaboration in them in upgrading programs, supply of basic services etc.
5.2.3 Land regularization
This is a remedial approach which seeks to formalize lands which were previously under customary or informal titles. This approach has been adopted in several places and had yielded various outcomes. Its advantages are multifaceted either from the beneficiaries‟ angle or the public sector. To the beneficiary it‟s; title for properties, security of tenure, freedom from eviction, economic empowerment, increased property value etc. meanwhile the public sector generates; income, achieve inclusiveness, win public confidence and followership, increased investment opportunities, unifying land management practice, increased revenue channels etc. The KUA has large chunk of land about 6000 Ha (field survey 2012) held by the informal sector. Using the Development Levy Charge alone in title processing with the rate of N25/m2 as it applies in KUA this would amount to approximately N1.5 Billion.
This stage can be best applicable when the two steps discussed earlier had developed into maturity. The argument here is that since the first approach is not in fighting the ILDS to quit land supply but harnessing its advantages and reducing or eliminating its challenge. Regularizing here is seen from the point of view of empowering the people to access the benefits available for those with formalized titles enjoys. Just being recognized is not enough, but utilizing opportunities that land as capital in the production process offers. Mortgage financing in Nigeria is strictly based on formal titles. The idea of De Soto when he proclaim informal titles as dead capitals, can be activated and given life when formal titles are issued to regularized lands.
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