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International Journal of Environment, Ecology, 
Family and Urban Studies (UEEFUS) 

ISSN (P): 2250-0065; ISSN (E): 2321-0109 
Vol. 5, Issue 4, Aug 2015, 7-12 
© TJPRC Pvt. Ltd. 




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• Journal Publications ■ Research Consultancy 



DEVELOPMENT CONTROL IN ADAMAWA STATE: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS 

AJAYI ABAYOMI PETERS 

Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Federal University of Technology, Yola, Hawaii 

ABSTRACT 

This paper examines the problems and prospects of development control in Adamawa State. It looks at the 
concept, purpose and provisions in the planning law. The problems experienced by Adamawa State in her effort to enforce 
development control are identified. These includes lack of manpower and technical services, inadequate equipment and 
vehicles for monitoring development and compliance, daunting lack of land acquisition and certification of occupancy, 
non-adherence of developers to guidelines, the influence of culture and traditions, the problem of enforcement, politics and 
planning phenomenon etc. 

Guidelines were given on how to minimize these problems. It is hoped that when these guidelines are adopted, 
development control will play a vital role in the overall orderly development of the state. 

KEYWORDS: Development, Enforcement, Government, Politics, Planning Law 

INTRODUCTION 

One of the major urban development problems in Nigeria is ineffective development control enforcement this is 
due to rapid urbanization taking place in all Nigerian cities which led to urban problems of housing, transportation, 
drainage, sanitation and general inadequacies of social services. Abin (2014). Nna et-el (2007). Ajayi (2011). Most of the 
people coming to the urban centers are low income earners or job seekers who settle in any kind of building hoping that 
one day things will get better. 

These have led to the decay of cities and development of slums and shanty settlements at the periphery of cities. 
This has made local planning authorities not to be able to carry out their functions of controlling development effectively 
that have resulted to building being constructed without approval layouts. 

Illegal structures are spring up arbitrarily, open spaces are disappearing fast and many parts of the Nigerian cities 
lack access. There is also inadequate supply of sanitary and infrastructure facilities for the large population. This problem 
has made government to promulgate a law that will ensure that control of development in our towns and cities. But there 
are problems in the enforcement of development control based on the provision of the law which this paper will identify 
with particular reference to Adamawa State. 

From the foregoing, the paper aims at examining the problems and prospects of development control as it affects 
Adamawa State. The specific objectives are as follows: a. to examine the concept and purpose of development control, b. 
to identify the problems and prospects of development control in the State, c. to make suggestions and recommendations 
towards ameliorating the problems. 



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MATERIALS AND METHODS 

In carrying out this research, various methods mostly documentary in nature were adopted in order to come up 
with reliable information on the problems of development control in Adamawa State that can be used by all concerned with 
development control activities. 

Also, first hand field information and assessment of development control situations in Adamawa State was carried 
out during SIWES field supervision by the researcher using his opportunity as the siwes co-coordinator for the school of 
environmental sciences. This exercise is quiet revealing as far as development control is concerned. Hence, both primary 
and secondary data sources were used in carrying out this research. 

Primarily, the staff of Adamawa State Urban Planning and Development Authority (ASUPDA) and a host of other 
agencies, parastatals and ministries too numerous to mention were more than supportive in the provision of documentary 
evidence. Observation was also carried out at various settlement locations in Jimeta-Yola, Adamawa State. The secondary 
data were obtained from journals, text-books, write-ups of similar situation in other state of the Nigerian federation. 

THE CONCEPT OF DEVELOPMENT CONTROL 

Many scholars have contributed to several ways of defining development control including, Nna- et-al (2014). 
Aluko (2000). Oyesiku (1998). Booths (1996). Ekop (1982). Ratchliffe, (1979) defines development control as the formal 
voice planning authority regarding such matters as permitted density, height limitation, user’s restriction, access and 
preservation or conservation orders of one kind or another. 

Development control as a physical planning instruments, generally involves regulating, restraining, keeping in 
order or checking material changes on land. Ola, (1984) in the same vain, stated that development control regulates the 
orderly planning and growth of a country, town or city by stipulating adequate standards for all aspects of planning. 

Development control operates on two levels: the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, it ensures the 
provision of household amenities while at the macro level, it ensures that, residential, commercial, industrial educational 
and agricultural areas are properly and carefully zoned to prevent conflict and promotes compatibility amongst various 
uses and the integration of new sub-division plan, planning scheme and zoning regulation to the existing city. 

PURPOSE OF DEVELOPMENT CONTROL 

Development control is a practical aspect of physical planning which affects the life of the general populace. This 
is because it involves rule setting and the enforcement of such rules in the use of land to achieve set out goals and 
objectives which includes the attainment of harmonious growth,, suitable environmental quality, and prevention of 
overloading infrastructure, protection of individual rights and improvement of the living standard of the inhabitants. 
(FCDA, 1996) 

The need for development control arises because of the uncontrolled and disorganized development proceeding 
very rapidly without regard for building standard, drainage, sanitation, rural access, public utility, services or security of 
tenure It takes charge and protects all land areas reserved for public facilities especially , parks, roads, railways, electricity 
etc Many scholars also agreed that without development control enforcement the resulting environment will be chaotic. 
Aluko (1998), Ola (1986), Ayinde and Asamu (2000), Storey (1980), Vagale (1975). Various measures are involved in 
development control including; planning schemes, zoning regulations, sub-division regulations and urban renewal. 



Impact Factor (JCC): 3.0965 



NAAS Rating: 3.63 




Development Control in Adamawa State: Problems and Prospects 



9 



RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 

The Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law which was promulgated in 1992 and an attempted review in 2003 
made provision for the establishment of development control departments at all levels of governments as stated in section 
27 of the law which is the main legal tool used in Adamawa State for planning administration. 

Problem Identification 

The problems identified on development control in Adamawa State are stupendous. These are outlined below: 

Lack of manpower and Technical Services for carrying out an effective development control activities at all the 
various boards and authorities saddled with the responsibility of development control in Adamawa State. There is also an 
inadequacy of professionally qualified personnel; most of the workers are certificate holders with few qualified staff, as a 
result, faults are bound to occur in one way or the other that could lead to development control problems. 

Inadequate equipment and vehicles for monitoring development. Hence, development is less effective at the 
periphery of towns due to lack of operational logistics for monitoring team. 

Lack of public participation and co-operation towards development activities and spending too much time in 
acquiring land and to obtain certificate of occupancy. Lack of adherence of developers to provisions of approved building 
plans and permits. 

There are administrative bottlenecks in carrying out demolition exercise and the complete absence of a 
comprehensive development plans to guide development control. Lack of funds to service all arms of the authority for 
proper and better functioning, Political interference in the machinery of development control and favoritism to rich men 
and politicians in plan approval and development control 

The planner is handicapped in prosecuting political heavy weights or senior government officials for contravening 
development control provisions. This is due to interference by the politicians and the powers that be. Sometimes the law 
makers are the defaulters themselves allowing them to develop in utter disregard of the planning standards 

SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

Based on the problem identified and the findings above, the following are recommended for the effective 
execution of development control in Adamawa State. Sufficient manpower and qualified professionals and technicians 
should be deployed to all the planning authorities. This is because effective implementation of development control 
depends on the caliber of staff of the authority. 

Equipments and vehicles must be provided for effective monitoring and to enforce development control 
requirements. 

There should be provision of facilities before development starts in order to ensure orderly development through 
site and service plots for allocation to the public. 

There should be effective implementation of the development control provisions in the law. The law should 
empower the planning officers to prosecute all cases of illegal development, even when the government refuses to co- 
operate with the authority to exercise its police power effectively. 



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Planning standards and building bye-laws should be made to conform to the socio-cultural and economic status of 
the people. Standards should be flexible to allow low income groups to develop their lands based on their financial 
capability. 

Provision of Adequate Cadastral Data to Assist Field Land Survey. There should be adequate public 
enlightenment campaign to educate the populace on the importance of development control laws and regulations regarding 
property development on their land. 

This is because most of their clients are illiterates; therefore they should be enlightened on the implication of 
development control. The media and ward head should be used in sensitization of the populace. Planners should adhere 
strictly to guiding development plans except where the need for change is very obvious -these changes must also be 
justified. 

There must be comprehensive plan to guide the orderly growth of the towns and cities and to prevent congestions 
and to prevent haphazard urban sprawl. Master plans and development schemes should be implemented on time. 

Allocation of more funds to the planning authorities through subvention from the government and internally 
generated revenue, for servicing of vehicles, payment of workers salaries and allowances and to buy equipments and 
stationeries 

Well- informed leaders should be agitated for, in order to minimize political interference in the affairs of the 
planning authority and the reduction of corrupt practices among officials. 

Prospects 

The prospects for development control in Adamawa state in the 2 1 sl century should be to provide an orderly and 
safe environment for people to live, work and leisure. Therefore, urban design and development control has to be based on 
traditional values rather than the rigid, single land use zoning and the separation of people and places being adopted from 
the western countries. The powers of development control should be devolved to the local government councils for 
effective delivery of services and implementation. 

Besides, this is the level in which people can be actively involved in the process of project execution and 
monitoring. There is need to overhaul the local government to be result oriented, accountable to the people in place of the 
present inept and corrupt practices. 

Plans provide the policy framework for development to be useful and they have to be up to date and have legal 
backing. The present master plans in Adamawa State were prepared since 1970’s and they have not been reviewed. Most 
medium town directly s have no physical plans at all and regional plans are non-existent. The 1992 urban and regional 
planning law recommends that development should be guided by plans this cannot happen until plans are on the ground 
and are vigorously implemented 

The people that these plans affect directly must be actively involved in the preparation and execution of the plan 
to reflect public participation. Planners role should be to co-ordinate, collect data and help clarify policies and proposals 
rather than impose plans on the people. In local government areas and other areas where traditional institution are strong 
but with less pressure on development, some form of community development programmers can be evolved with 
assistance by the planning authority. One system of planning permission for development should also be adopted instead of 



Impact Factor (JCC): 3.0965 



NAAS Rating: 3.63 




Development Control in Adamawa State: Problems and Prospects 



11 



the present twin statutory right of occupancy and building approval system. The system of land administration should be 
changed from the current system introduced by the British at the turn of the century and replaced by a form of cadastral 
system, where all forms of land ownership are mapped and registered. 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSSIONS 

Based on the Nigerian Urban and Regional planning law, of 1992 development control department were 
established with the intention of ensuring orderly development and the protection of the environment from degradation. In 
Adamawa State, development control is confronted with barrage of problems. This ranges from lack of funds to political 
interference. 

Suggestions were made on how to address these problems including provision of adequate funding of the 
authority and the use of cadastral system of land ownership so that government should only be concerned with control of 
development. Those to be affected by a plan should also be involved in the preparation of the plan to show case the 
phenomenon of public participation. Adequate enlightenment should also be put in place to acqint the populace of the 
existence of development control 

Finally, for development control to achieve its stated goal of providing an orderly and habitable environment, the 
powers of the authorities must be exercised vigorously through strong legal backing. 

REFERENCES 

1. Abin, D.J. (2014) Planners and Job Opportunities: Public and Private Sector; In Town Planning Issues in The 
Federal Capital by the Nigerian Institutes of Town Planners, FCT Chapters. 

2. Aluko, O.E. (2000) Development Control in Territory: A compilation of papers Nigeria’s New Civil Rule 
Programme: Journal of The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners. VOL.XIII October 2000. 

3. Aluko, O. (1998) Planning and Professional Practice in Nigeria: In Agboola, T. (Ed) Elements of Planning in 
Nigeria. Ibadan Macmillan Press. 

4. Ayorinde, A. and Asamu, S. (2000) Integrated Physical Planning for the maximization of the use of scarce 
Resources: Sustainable Cities Programme Approach. Paper presented at the 31 st 

5. Annual Conference of the NITP, Minna. October 30 th , 2000.deral Republic of Nigeria official Gazette, The 
Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Law, 1992, Decree 88. 

6. Booth, P. (1996) Controlling Development Certainty and Discretion in Europe, the United States, Hong Kong 
University College London Press. 

7. Ekop, O.B. (1982) Development Control in Calabar Municipality: Problems and Prospects. Journal of the 
Nigerian Institute of Town Planners.VOL.il, NOS. Iand2. October 1982. 

8. Federa Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Development Control Regulation, April 1996. 

9. Ola, C. S. (1986) Town and Country Planning Law in Nigeria. Ibadan Oxford University Press. 

10. Nnah, et-al. (2007) Development Control and the Public Interest in Ohio- Akpor Local Government Areas of 
Rivers State. Nigeria. Journals of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners. VOL.XX. NO.l. November 2007. 



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Ajayi Abayomi Peters 



11. Oyesiku, K. (1998) Modem Urban and Regional Planning Law and Administration in Nigeria. Ibadan Craft B 
ooks LTD. 

12. Storey, J. (1980). The Challenges of Management Control. London. Kogan Press LTD 

13. Vagale, L.R. (1975) Development Control: Its importance in Regulating Urban Growth. Occasional Paper. The 
Polytechnic Ibadan 



Impact Factor (JCC): 3.0965 



NAAS Rating: 3.63