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Perceptions on corruption and compliance in the administration of town planning laws: The experience from Lagos Metropolitan Area, Nigeria

Adewumi I. Badiora


This article examines corruption in town planning practices and how this affects the reputation of local planning authority and residents’ compliance with planning laws. This was examined using a sample of 362 participants from a systematic sampling survey conducted in Lagos metropolitan area, Nigeria. Findings show that the conduct of planning officers significantly influences residents’ compliance with planning laws. Results also reveal that the use of procedural justice (fairness) in dealing with the public is extremely significant in building local town planning authority’s reputation (legitimacy). The survey found that, if town planning officers act corruptly (in discharging their duties), the public will be disrespectful of planning laws and town planning authority. The structural equation model results show that certain socio-economic characteristics of residents significantly predict compliance with planning laws, independent of planning officials’ corrupt behaviour. Specifically, compared to less educated residents, the more educated residents respect planning laws and view local planning authority as more legitimate. The article concludes that people are more satisfied with local planning authority or are more likely to voluntarily defer to planning laws when they view planning institutions as legitimate. A key component of this legitimacy is the use of procedural justice with the residents. The article suggests, inter alia, that local town planning authority and its officials need to become a democratically accountable institution, serving the public in a procedurally fair manner and without graft and bribery. Anti-corruption measures should be built into all planning systems as part of their structure. This article will contribute to urban and regional planning reform in Nigeria, with specific consideration for local planning authority, planning officials’ accountability, and improvement of the relationship between town planning authority and the public.

Keywords: Corruption, local town planning authority, planning laws, procedural justice, town planning officials

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2415-0495
print ISSN: 1012-280X