Impact Of Urban And Regional Planning On Socio-Economic Development Of Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Urban and Regional Planning

Impact Of Urban And Regional Planning On Socio-Economic Development Of Nigeria


Urban and regional planning is the main tool used in regulating the urban environment especially in socio-economic development. It is aimed at enhancing environmental quality, efficient delivery of utility services, beautiful layout and access, optimum land use, improved housing conditions, privacy among residents and proper ventilation, among others. In spite of the role Urban and regional planning plays, there are still issues of haphazard development in our urban areas.

This then questions the effectiveness of Urban and regional planning mechanism in our urban areas. This study therefore sought to examine the effectiveness Urban and regional planning activities in regulating housing in Abuja metropolis of Nigeria. The study was carried out through the administration of structured and semi structured questionnaire to some selected homeowners, and Urban and regional planning agencies (TCPD and BIU) .The responses revealed a high awareness of developers about the key idea of socio-economic development regulations but they however lack adequate knowledge in the various components and requirements of building and development permits which forms the basic tool used in regulating urban socio-economic development.

The inadequate knowledge about the detailed aspect of Urban and regional planning affected developer‟s compliance to regulations. The study also identified problems hindering effective Urban and regional planning ling from inadequate personnel, inadequate supervision of on-going developments, lack of organized public education on Urban and regional planning mechanism, and above all, lack of coordination between the various stakeholders of Urban and regional planning.

All these have resulted in the ineffectiveness of Urban and regional planning in regulating socio-economic development in Abuja Metropolis. With the identified problems, the study made a number of recommendations. They include building the capacities of the various institutions responsible for controlling development, periodic review of the Urban and regional planning system, enforcement of sanctions, intensifying planning education among others. These will enhance the effectiveness of Urban and regional planning mechanism and eventually create a conducive living, working and healthy environment in Abuja Metropolis.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background of Study
  • 1.2 Problem Statement .
  • 1.3 Objectives
  • 1.4 Research Questions .
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Scope of the study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

An Overview Of Urban And Regional Planning In Managing Urban Housing

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The Concept of Development
  • 2.3 The Concept of Land
  • 2.4 The Concept of Control
  • 2.5 The Concept of Urban and regional planning.
  • 2.6 Urban and regional planning in Nigeria
  • 2.7 Urban housing development and management in Nigeria
  • 2.8 Urban and regional planning in Nigeria
  • 2.9 summary of literature review

Chapter Three

Profile Of Study And Research Methodology

  • 3.0 Introduction
  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sampling and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Sampling Size
  • 3.5 Data Collected, Sources and Techniques
  • 3.6 Data Processing and Analysis

Chapter Four

Data Analysis

  • 4.1 Presentation of results

Chapter Five

Major Findings, Recommendations And Conclusion

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Major Findings .
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • 5.4 Conclusion

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

The phrase ‘better city, better future’ is the motto of the ongoing World Expo in China. The World City Expo started in 2002 as a way of mobilizing world community towards using the urban centers to mobile resources to eliminate all forms poverty among people and to harness international cooperation and prevailing technology in governing cities. The phrase becomes relevant in examining the experience of Nigeria in urbanization. It is relevant to state that whileurbanization is not foreign to Nigeria before colonialism, colonial rule with its attendant economy nationalized urbanization in Nigeria. This is because urbanization became extended beyond its traditional areas of Yoruba land, Hausa-Fulani land and Borno land. This nationalization did not ensure a sufficiently urbanized Nigeria but it laid foundation for what followed after independence in 1960 to the transformation of human settlements in Nigeria.

Within the 50 years of Nigeria’s independence, the fact of high level of urbanization has been established by many authors (Mabogunje, 1968, Mabogunje,1974, Mabogunje, 1981, Ojo, 1981, Lawanson 2006, Fabiyi, 2006, Kofowomo, 2008 and Olujimi, 2009,). These studies have demonstrated that Nigeria is experiencing accelerated urbanization.
Existence of large urban settlements has always been part of Nigeria’s history. During the periods before the incursion of the British colonial masters into the coasts of Nigeria, a number of large cities had emerged on the landscape. Prominent among these were Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Zaria and Katsina in the North;Oyo, Ibadan, Ilorin, Ijebu-Ode, Iseyin, Ogbomoso, Abeokuta and Shakiin the West. Others included Benin in the Mid-West and city – states like Opobo, Warri and Calabar in the coastal areas. According to estimates by explorers such as Richard Lander, Barth and Clapperton, as comprehensively documented by Mabogunje (1968), Sokoto had about 120,000 people when it became the religious capital of OuthmandanFodio’s Muslim caliphate, Kano had about 30,000 and Zaria’s population was put at between 40,000 and 50,000.In the same vein, Guglar and Flanagan (1979) estimated the population of Ibadan to be between 70,000 and 100,000, Abeokuta (60,000) and Oyo (25,000).

However, these cities were medieval in outlook, organic in their growth and agro dependent for their survival in contrast to the industrial cities of the western world. As succinctly captured by Guglar and Flanagan (ibid.) “the Yoruba cities, for instance, presented an odd picture to those who were accustomed to the character of urban areas in Europe and America. The cities contained such large numbers of farmers and the buildings were so village-like that to the foreign eye, they seemed no more than dense rural settlements”. Colonialism affected the original urban settlements and incorporated them into global urbanization. The colonial urban heritage has continued to thrive. In looking at the planning and management of Nigerian urban centers in the last 50 years, it can be stated that projects have impacts beyond the project sites.

Urban planning and development, in particular, has regional implications. The city is not alone, it is located in a region; it affects the region as much as it is affected by the region. The city offers hope for itself and its region while the rural land is repository of resources beneficial to the city. In Nigeria, as in other parts of the world, the rural and urban centers are not in competition; they complement each other and are in continuum rather being sharply divided. Indeed, to some extent, ‘ center-periphery convergence’ (Gren, 2003) is taking place in the rural-urban continuum in Nigeria. These realities are observable in Nigeria in varying levels of resolution. It is also to be added that both rural and urban areas face similar challenges; the challenges of basic needs, of gainful employment for self- support and the challenge of resource conservation.

The planning and development of rural and urban areas have also reflected the political and economic fortunes of the country. They have therefore been shaped by experiences of cash crops-based economy, oil- boom of the late 1960s tomid 1970s, the Civil War of 1967 to 1970, the economic down-turn of the 1980s and 1990s and the attendant economic reforms, political crisis of 1992 to 1998 and relative increased revenue and relative political stability of 1999 to 2010 which has allowed more relaxed thinking and positive actions. In other words,the planning and the conditions of rural and urban centers in Nigeria cannot be dissociated 2 form the country’s economic and political experiences; although in most cases analysts take little account of the influence of the macro environment on the development of rural and urban areas.

In this presentation too, the general role of the cities in national development is also well recognized. Analysts recognize the role of cities in creating opportunities and stimulating growth and development (North, 1955, 1956, Carter (1981, Todaro (1973, Mabogunje, (1974, 1980.). The city “furthers efficiency in economic activity” and serves as a place where new forms of economic of economic organization are evolved’ (UNCHS, 1994). While there are shades of opinion aboutthe external effects of cities, there is a consensus that ‘strong urban economies are the backbone and motor of the wealth of nations’ (Gantsho, 2008). The nature of Nigerian urbanization offers unique opportunities for achieving this social objective. In practice, the city is the center of the territory to which all activities gravitate. Thus, they remain ‘the focal points of any economy’ (Olufemi and Oluseyi (2007).

1.2 Problem Statement

The general pattern of economic development in the region has tended to favor locations surrounding the more urbanized areas thereby introducing spatial inequalities and neglect of the more other urban places in the same city.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The primary aim of the study is to examine the effectiveness Urban and regional planning mechanisms in regulating socio-economic development in Abuja metropolis and eventually coming out with appropriate measures that will ensure authorized and sustainable development.

The specific objectives are to;

  1. Assess the awareness of housing developers on laws concerning Urban and regional planning.
  2. To assess the compliance of housing developers to development regulations in the metropolis.
  3. Explore the problems and challenges associated with the control of socio-economic development and its effect in the metropolis.
  4. Suggest recommendation towards urban policy planning and management in socio-economic development.

1.4 Research Questions

The study aims to answer the following research questions,

  1. Are housing developers aware of socio-economic development regulation in the country?
  2. Are the necessary development regulations procedures followed in carrying out socio-economic development?
  3. What are the problems faced by developers and the authorities in carrying out Urban and regional planning and its effect in the metropolis?
  4. What measures can be adopted to improve Urban and regional planning in urban socio-economic development in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The role of Urban and regional planning in management of urban areas cannot be underestimated. The crucial role of Urban and regional planning makes studies about it relevant to national development. This study aims at assessing the effectiveness of Urban and regional planning in Abuja Metropolis. The study is particularly important as contributes to existing works on Urban and regional planning in Nigeria. This will contribute to knowledge by discovering new challenges stakeholders faces in controlling and socio-economic development in urban centers in growing cities and also serves as a reference material for future research.

The findings of this study will help contribute to good management practice in the public institutions charged with the responsibility of controlling socio-economic developments in the country. This is because the study attempts to explore the problems associated with housing Urban and regional planning and recommends actions to be taken for its effectiveness.

Furthermore, the findings will create awareness of stakeholders on the current state of socio-economic developments and their effect on the urban environment and people. This will aid ensure adequate measures are put in place to prevent further developments of the situations where buildings in urban areas uncontrolled. The implementation of findings of this research will also lead to improvement in urban socio-economic development and management as well as related issues in Nigeria as a whole.

The findings and recommendations of the study will serve as a base point for development agencies to appreciate issues related to controlling socio-economic development. Relevant Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) will benefits from the study as it will help in their efforts in promoting safe environments in urban areas. This will be made possible by the assessment of the effectiveness of Urban and regional planning practices of urban areas of the Metropolis.

The study will extend literature and broaden the frontiers of knowledge in Urban and regional planning and serve as input into related works in future. The findings could contribute to tabling issues for consideration in the study metropolis as well as national policies on ensuring effective developments in the urban areas and beyond.

1.6 Scope

The study focuses on the impact of environmental planning on rural development using Abuja metropolis as a case study.

1.7 Limitations of the study

The study was limited by two major factors; financial constraint and time. Insufficient fund and time tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

1.8 Scope of the study

The study focuses on the impact of environmental planning on rural development using Abuja metropolis as a case study.

1.9 Definition of terms


Is the process of making plans for something.

Urban Area:

This is the region surrounding a city.

Urban and Regional planning:

This is a professional discipline which embraces management of the physical spaces and the environment.

Socio-Economic Development:

Is the process of social and economic development in a society.

Chapter Five

Major Findings, Recommendations And Conclusion

5.1 Introduction

This chapter entails a summary of the key findings of the study, recommendations to help enhance Urban and regional planning in Abuja metropolis and a general conclusion to the study.

5.2 Major Findings

This section of the chapter focuses on the deductions made from the data presentation and analysis in chapter four. These are arranged based on the various objectives of the study.

5.2.1 Awareness on Urban and regional planning in Abuja metropolis

In Abuja Metropolis, there is high (92 percent) awareness of laws controlling socio-economic development. Developers in the Metropolis also have knowledge of the institutions regulating socio-economic development as about 96 percent made mentions of the Town and Country Planning Department, the Survey Department and Lands Commission as responsible agencies. However, developers in the Metropolis do not really appreciate some of the principles of Urban and regional planning in the areas of continuity of green space, minimizing or maximizing land use intensity among others. Also, majority of developers are ignorant about the detailed components of development and building permits such as the inspection of the construction process, the required mixing ratios of building material among others. In the aspect of permitting, developers are aware of the need to acquire a permit but as to what the permit entails and why it is important is something they are ignorant about.

5.2.2 Compliance to Urban and regional planning Regulations in Abuja metropolis

Urban and regional planning adherence is high among developers in the Metropolis as 70 percent adhered to various regulations. Generally, compliance by developers centers on obtaining building permits. However, there is no complete compliance as 30 percent of developers did not comply despite the high awareness of regulations governing socio-economic development. The total number of permit applications received is less than 50 percent of the developments within each year. About 87 percent homeowners developed despite a decline of building permit by the planning authority of the Metropolis. Also, about 57 percent of homeowners altered and extended their houses with none of them obtaining a permit for such purpose. Some developers do not bother to obtain permits before putting up structures because of fear of refusal. Also, ignorance of the developers results in their inability to effectively comply to these regulations.

5.2.3 Challenges and Problems of Urban and regional planning in Abuja metropolis

The human resource base of departments responsible for Urban and regional planning is incapacitated in terms of number and skills to effectively undertake day to day activities in controlling development. At the TCPD and building Inspectorate Unit, there was a backlog of six personnel. There is also inadequate logistics for effective Urban and regional planning. There is inadequate computers and appropriate software systems, vehicles for site inspection and bulldozers for demolition of unauthorized structures and lack of staff accommodation.

5.3 Recommendations

Considering the current nature of Urban and regional planning and Management in SD, the following recommendations are proposed to ensure effectiveness of Urban and regional planning.

Institutional Capacity Building

The capacity of relevant Urban and regional planning agencies should be enhanced. This is due to the fact that, these institutions were incapacitated at the time of the survey. Building the capacity of these institutions should be done through improving their human resource base, logistics and funding. Institutional capacity building is necessary because the success or failure of any interventions of an institution depends on how adequately it is equipped with the right number of personnel and logistics to manage its activities.

Enforcement of Sanctions

Urban and regional planning sanctions such as demolitions and fines against developers who failed to meet the requirements of the regulations should be carried in accordance with the planning regulations.

Periodic Review of The Urban and regional planning System

There is the need to regularly review the urban management procedures to to suit the current upsurge nature of socio-economic development. This will ensure it reflect the current realities on ground. This should involve periodic performance assessment of the institutional structure, laws and regulations, attitudes and procedures towards urban development and management

Intensify Public Education and Involve Traditional Ruler in Urban and regional planning Process
Mass Public education should to be carried out enable erase the negative perceptions about Urban and regional planning agencies and processes as well as appreciate the need for Urban and regional planning.

5.4 Conclusion

Urban and regional planning has the fundamental aim of ensuring coordinated and harmonious development of an area so as to create an environment that is healthy, convenience and aesthetically pleasing. Urban and regional planning mechanism cannot be overlooked when managing socio-economic development in Nigeria’s urban areas.

The issue associated with controlling development in Abuja Metropolis to be specific is how effective it is being carried out. Most studies and researches have tend to blame the authorities for the ineffective nature of the Urban and regional planning system in our urban management. However, this study has identified the cause of the ineffectiveness to be multi-sourced, since the issue of Urban and regional planning generally has many stakeholders. This research has shown that, the developers have inadequate comprehensive knowledge about Urban and regional planning thereby affecting their level of compliance to it. The institutions also work within severe constraints ranging from issues of inadequate human resources through to week legislative framework and sanctions.

To achieve the greatest form of effective Urban and regional planning in Abuja Metropolis, the study recommends building the capacities of the institutions, intensifying public education and the involvement of tradition rulers on the issues of controlling development, enforcement of sanctions among others as a remedy.

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