The intense crowding and subsequent deterioration of Ibadan’s
inner city took place over a long period, closely linked to socio-economic
change and limited municipal budgets. The, in principle, well-planned
town thus turned into a slum. In 1963, half of the city’s
core area consisted of slum dwellings, growing to 70 per cent of
the town’s total number of derelict housing in 1985. Problems
of illegal squatting, conversion of functions and extremely poor
levels of service provision are compounded by the apparent lack
of financial capacity and political will to upgrade such a large
area. In addition, people strongly oppose resettlement due to their
strong attachment to the ancestral lands.
During the past 20 years, the planned city saw a growth of squatting
areas along the urban fringes and in the crowded low- and medium-income
residential areas of the first half of the 20th century. Massive
cash injections in urban utilities and infrastructure during the
1970s oil boom attracted a flow of rural migrants and citizens of
other African states. Considerable unplanned development thus occurred
along the major traffic arteries in the northern, eastern and southern
directions, resulting in urban areas entirely devoid of urban management
and planning. Whatever facilities were provided in these relatively
prosperous times rapidly declined due to overuse and lack of maintenance.
Rapid development of makeshift shelters since the 1980s largely
corresponds to general, nation-wide increases in poverty.
Slums are defined as those areas that are yet to develop in terms
of good planning and settlement. Some of the characteristics of
slums are that they lack infra-structural facilities, have no planned
layout and the residents are predominantly poor and illiterate.
Slums are areas that concentrate low-income earners, low-cost houses,
possibly mud houses, no layout and poor inhabitants.
The three main slum types in Ibadan are:
Inner city slums: these consist
of the oldest (19th century) and lowest quality residences and are
characterized by severe deterioration, the city’s highest
population density and no identifiable sanitation facilities. They
house a very high percentage of indigenous Yoruba people.
Squatting areas: the
low- and medium-income residential districts of the first half of
the 20th century – although better controlled by the planning
authorities – have attracted some illegal squatting by migrants
from the 1970s and 1980s onwards. Squatting is highly organized
and cannot be considered as spontaneous.
outskirts: from the 1970s to the 1990s, land along the
major traffic arteries has attracted slums in the north, the east
and the south of the city. Here, at the outskirts of the city, 30
per cent of the derelict houses in Ibadan are found. Most of them
have developed because a new labour market gave opportunities for
employment, but without housing provision. Some spontaneous slums
also exist in other parts of the city; but few data are available.
There are serious problems with migrants’ access to land,
partly because of discriminatory allocation of urban land, particularly
with the last migration wave of the Hausa during the late 1970s.
The uncertain political situation and the ethnic riots of the past
30 years are associated with loss of property. Migrants, therefore,
prefer to rent in order to allow for a quick departure in emergencysituations.
There is, generally, a high percentage of poor and illiterate people;
but the percentage varies from slum to slum.
Since the 1950s, Nigerian urban governance has had three separate
levels of government that directly intervene: federal, state and
local government. During the 1960s to the 1980s, the power of local
authorities decreased. Local government largely viewed slums as
inevitable and not an issue that could be addressed at the local
level. Thus, only marginal interventions took place, if any. A series
of interventions to improve slums and alleviate poverty took place
from 1988 onwards. However, the failure to address weak local-level
capacity to formulate strategies, programmes and projects, combined
with rampant corruption and conflicts between various levels of
governance, wasted most of the resources.
Multiple agencies responsible for generating urban policies have
not been able to effect urban improvements. Rather, duplication
of functions and lack of coordination has affected the entire city.
Conflicts of jurisdiction and competence, the absence of effective
coordination between levels of government, frequent bureaucratic
changes, low priority for urban planning, and the commensurate lack
of funding have caused delays and confusion in the execution of
has been extracted from:
UN-Habitat (2003) Global Report on Human Settlements 2003, The Challenge
of Slums, Earthscan, London; Part IV: 'Summary of City Case Studies',