Journal of Contemporary Urbanology

The Mega Layouts 'palava' in Makurdi Urban Area - Nigeria: The Dilemma of Adjoining Rural Community

A. Lyam (Director, Centre For Peace and Development Studies Benue State University, Makurdi. Tell: 08036282818,08054140251; e-mail:;


Urban settlements will continue to increase in population and physical size. This increasing expansion requires land which has to come from the neighbouring country side. Using Makurdi as an example this paper attempts to examine the nature of conflicts arising from the process of acquiring landfor urban expansion. Evidence obtainedfrom the Ministry of Lands and Survey, the Urban Development Board and afocused group discussion with the affected communities shows that the rural population at the peri-urban zone isfast losing their lands to grabbers for various reasons without adequate compensation. The peri-urban land is thus shrinking at the interface between the city and rural areas due to mega layout plans as well as land grabbing for various projects from the interior of the rural areas. This has resulted in many conflicts among the people and with government as well as resentment even to development projects. The paper therefore suggests a drastic improvement in the compensation given for lands taken and a policy adjustment to take care of the resultant inequalities between urban dwellers and the neighbouring rural communities.

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