Regional planning and urban infrastructure development in the Gongola region, North Eastern Nigeria (1)
AbstractIn North-eastern Nigeria, the Gongola region has been one of the least developed since independence. The series of geopolitical reorganizations since 1967 which lead to the gradual and consistent decentralization of the processes of social, economic and political transformation and the reduction of spatial inequalities in development within the country appeared to have little impact on urban development in the region. The concern of this paper is to determine the pattern of urban development achieved in the region as a single administrative entity, to explore the specific and theoretical factors that were responsible for the existing pattern of urban development, and make suggestions on how to guide future planning to influence pattern of urbanization in the region, in the desired manner. To achieve these objectives, data were collected on eleven indicators of development in all the local government areas of the region and subjected to principal factor analysis, to most important form or spatial structure of regional development. The result generated five dimensions of regional development. The most important dimension identified i.e., urban infrastructure development, was subjected to spatial autocorrelation analysis (using the join-count statistics), in order to determine the likelihood of existence of any spatial association in the observed pattern. The result indicates that the pattern of urban infrastructure development appear to be associated with some deliberate and systematic process of public policy making that promoted urban development at the early stages of the region's political development. The result also shows that the general pattern of economic development in the region has tended to favour locations surrounding the more urbanized areas thereby introducing spatial inequalities and neglect of the more rural places. The paper suggests strengthening of a system of geopolitical growth centers in the more rural areas and the adoption of a grass root approach to Development Planning in the region as a panacea for redressing spatial inequalities in the regional development process. Keywords: Region, Development, Planning, Urban, Gongola.
(Global Journal of Social Sciences: 2003 2 (1): 65-78)