DETERMINANTS OF URBAN LAND USE DYNAMICS IN NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA
Land development in the North Central Nigeria seems to be shifting out of the city centre to the fringes. Areas at the fringes that were once described as quiet and serene environment now seem to be characterized by noise, traffic congestion, informal economic activities and proliferation of incompatible developments. Literature has shown that city planners do not take cognizance of the factors responsible for these developments. The aim of the study was to determine the factors influencing land use dynamics and the extent to which these factors differ at the fringes of three cities in North Central Nigeria. To achieve this aim the following objectives were formulated to: (i) examine the rate and variation of land use change at the fringes of the study area (1974-2011), (ii) identify and group the factors influencing land use dynamics in the fringes of the area under study, (iii) determine whether there are variations in factors that influence land use dynamics at the fringes of the three cities under study, (iv) ascertain peoples’ perception of the factors of land use dynamics at the fringes of urban area under study and (v) explore the implications of the current pattern of land use dynamics for planning. Three hypotheses were postulated while primary and secondary data sources were employed in the study. The cities of Minna, Lokoja and Kaduna were selected from the North Central part of Nigeria. Systematic sampling technique was used to administer questionnaire on households in twelve neighborhoods of the three cities. Out of 1130 questionnaires distributed only 834 were dully filled and returned, 30 of the questionnaire were for the professional town planners. The Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test the first and second hypotheses. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to classify data, while the Chi-square was used to test the third hypothesis. The ANOVA result showed that there is a significant change in the nature of land use among the cities in the past 37 years (F=1.481, p<0.05). The result of the PCA showed that ethnicity, religion, income, and the presence of auto- mechanic industry accounted for 23.22% of the total, the presence of block industries, proximity to eatery, and proximity to petrol stations accounted for 23.3%, land price and plot size accounts for 9.59%, density accounts for 6.58%, the component of soil and slope accounts for 6.55%. The ANOVA result for the second hypothesis also revealed the variations in the factors affecting land use dynamics among the three cities understudy, which was significantly different(F=19.277,p<0.05). The Chi-square result of the third hypothesis further revealed that perception varies significantly among stake holders. The results of these hypotheses have duly answered the research questions posited. It had brought out the peculiar factors of land use change in the study area. The factors should be considered in accessing the implication of policies on the effect of land use change in the cities. Also factors peculiar to different cities should be considered in planning, as a working guideline for decision making in land use development at the city fringes.