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ROLE OF INFRASTRUCTURE IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT.

Keeping in tandem with the findings and recommendations of the earlier study, it is only apt that
the provision of infrastructure within the study area be accorded utmost priority. Infrastructure
here refers to all facilities that would allow the study area[Iwaya] to function effectively. The
infrastructure would help promote a wide range of economic and social activities to be carried
out harmoniously within the study area and thereby creating an environment conducive for
economic growth and improved quality of life to take place. According to Harvey J and Ernie J.
(2004), infrastructure could alternatively be termed public-sector goods and services and could
be classified into 3 types, Community goods, Collective goods and Merit goods.

Community goods include defence, police stations, street lighting, pavements and flood control.
These types of public goods cannot be supplied through the price system since they are
indivisible. In other words it is either they are completely supplied or no supply at all. Also they
cannot be used exclusively.

Collective goods aim to satisfy a peoples collective needs and entail high-fixed capital
investment which supports a community’s production and economic base thus enabling
decreasing cost of production and the attainment of significant gaims in economies of scale
overtime. Examples of these collective goods include roads, bridges, water supply, refuse
disposal and drainage.

Merit goods includes education, health-care and housing. These are goods which are provided by
any responsible government [at whatever level] in order to avoid improper consumption through
lack of income [on the part of residents] if left entirely to market forces.

As opined by Okuboyejo (1995) in Nubi (2003) the provision of infrastructure bears certain
salient characteristics:
1) It involves lumpsumness of expenditure that is usually beyond the means of ordinary
citizens to provide themselves,

2) They are durable and capital intensive and yield future incomes,

3) They have external effects and economies of scale,

4) They require regular maintenance and if improperly managed can hurt urban
development.,

ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE .

The responsibility to provide goods and services meant for public consumption maybe that of a
government department, state owned industry, quasi-governmental bodies (i.e. agency, authority
, commission, committees), NGO’s, local authorities. According to Harvey. J et al (2004) and
Nubi (2003) the actual form adopted depends on constitutional and economic consideration.

PROCUREMENT AND FINANCING OF URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE .

GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES.

Governments the world over have the huge responsibility of providing public goods and services
as a result of the huge capital requirements required and the non-excludability of use.
Government provided goods can be financed by either burrowing, levying user charges or
taxation.

a. Burrowing:- Rather than solely rely on monthly allocation from the federation account,
governments particularly at the local level can burrow finance to provide much of the
infrastructure required by its citizens. According to Udechukwu Chika (2003) the
Nigerian capital market is a veritable tool from which the government can burrow funds
for the provision of urban infrastructure. Furthermore, according to Okereke Onyuike
(2000) in Okechuku (2003), some of the advantages of capital market financing are that
because of the long maturity period, capital market funds enable a state or local
government to complete a project for which funds are burrowed without undue strain and
pressure. It would also give the state or local government ample time to repay the loan
during which the project may have started generating revenue. Other sources of financing
via burrowing open to governments include commercial loans from commercial banks
and soft loans from the World Bank and other International Development Agencies
(Nubi, 2003). While local governments can burrow long term funds to meet the cost of
capital projects, the central or state government must retain overall control of public
sector spending and ensure that the amount local authorities can burrow is subject to their
approval and in accordance with a projected programme for long term capital
expenditure.

b. User charges:- These are the fees or levies paid by the user for the use of a collective
goods. Take for instance the provision of water supply or electricity supply to a
community, since these are collective goods, their provision can only be financed and
maintained through returns from user-charges in the form of water rates and electricity
bills/rates for provision of roads, the payment of toll fees by users will suffice.

c. Taxation:- With the provision of community goods such as police outposts, security
lighting, pavements, drainages e.t.c there can be no excludability to their use since free
riders cannot be excluded, hence no price can be charged. Therefore the cost of providing
these community goods will be covered entirely by taxation.

Specific role of State Governments.

The role of the state governments does not differ from those of the Federal Government as
contained in the Urban and Regional and Planning Decree 88 of 1992. Since state government
can be considered as central governments within their domain their responsibilities 100%
coverage, controlling investment cost and the sustainable use of all infrastructure so provided.
They are also employed to obtain finance though all avenues earlier enumerated.

Specific Role of Local Governments.


Too frequently local government have not been unable to assert their responsibilities under the
present democratic dispensation. State governments have been known to illegally hold on to
local government statutory allocations making it extremely difficult for local government to fully
assert and carry out their responsibilities as enshrined under Urban and Regional Planning
Decree 88 of 1992. According to Nubi (2003) nothing stops a vibrant local government with a
good vision and that is well positioned in today’s market to secure funding from foreign sources
as well as the capital market for infrastructure development.

Delegating the provision of infrastructure services to local authorities has certain advantages
(Harvey. J et al, 2004):-

1. Those who run local services are local people responsible to local needs and attitudes,

2. It allows close contact between the government and the governed,

3. It provides for division of power between state governments and local governments for
instance reminding Alausa that its decisions must respect local feelings and loyalties,

4. Local authorities reduce the burden of central government administration,

The big question thus remains, will the local government authorities be unshackled and allowed
to perform their constitutional role of developing their communities under the present political
atmosphere?

COMMUNITY BASED INITIATIVES.

It is no longer enough for all planning decisions to be made at Alausa, it is now common place
for residents of communities who are beneficiaries of the end products of planning decisions to
be actively involved in the process. Therefore a acse is being made here for the adoption of a
bottom-up approach in the provision of infrastructure by planning bodies charged with the
statutory responsibility. A bottom-up approach allows the active participation of the community
through elected or chosen representatives when decisions bothering on the procurement,
financing and siting of infrastructure within their communities are to be made.
According to Nubi (2003), residents of low income settlements are increasingly engaging
themselves in the formulation of proposals and participating in solutions. This should be the case
for residents of Iwaya community. By so doing they bear a proportion of the costs of
neighbourhood improvements and maintenance. Community development will enables the
residents see themselves as active stakeholders in the infrastructural provision process and so
such will do all within their power to promote sustainable and efficient use of such resources.

There are 2 principal approaches to Community Involvement. These are:

Community Participation.

Community Management.

Community Participation: The initiative and control over planning decisions resides with the
government the community residents are meant to participate (have a participatory role) to
complement government efforts. Many at times residents play no more than a passive role in
such efforts, with a resultant tendency for residents to feel alienated and often extending long
after the installation of such infrastructure and having a major negative impact on the long term
sustainability and maintainability of such public goods.

Community Management however devolves power and responsibilities to the community. The
government is still responsible for bringing infrastructure to the site but community members
take on more than a passive participatory role in the process. The onus to provide labour to
provide such infrastructure could well lie with the community thereby making the most use of
local skill. The execution of projects within the community will rely more on the use of direct
labour which will be provided by the community residents. Therefore residents become major
stakeholders in the procurement and financing of infrastructure in their community through the
supply of a key factor of production-labour. Community residents are not just encouraged to stop
at the mere provison of labour, where it is within their means they can collectively levy
themeselves to provide the finance needed to provide certain infrastructure. For instance this has
been the case in certain parts of Lagos state where residents have been known to contribute
towards the purchase of a community transformer to solve a lingering power outage. Thus
through a combination of these efforts residents feel a long term attachment to infrastructure so
provided with positive impacts for long term sustainable use and maintainability.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION (NGO) BASED INITIATIVES.

In the developed world the role of NGO’s can presently be felt in planning issues. This should
also be the case in Nigeria. In the U.K the London Women Planning Group (LWPG) and WSI
(Women Safety Initiative) are advocates for the designing of urban environments that take into
consideration women/female user requirements such as the provision of shopping areas within
reasonable walking distance of residential neighbourhoods, the provision of public conveniences
in sufficient numbers equipped with good internal space and nappy-changing facilities . All Mod
Cons an NGO in the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of the design of a barrier free and
more accessible environment for people with mobility impairment. These Non-Governmental
Organisations function as campaign and groups and frequently lobby local planning authorities
for the provision of desired urban infrastructure as consistent with their campaign objectives. The
LWPG in addtion also lobbies for the appointment of more women representatives at the
Planning Authority level which could well ensure that women related isssues are put at the front
burner of planning and infrastructure provision decision making.

The role of NGO’s is however not limited to that of a mere campaign or pressure group. NGO’ s
can also be at the forefront of making financing the provision of infrastructure in community’s
where their efforts are clearly felt. How? Local NGO’s are frequently the channels by which
International Aid Agencies make available funds for community development and frequently
seek to from local partnerships with them. Unfortunately as pointed out by Nubi (2003) NGO’s
in the country are only vocal on issues relating to constitution, politics, human rights e.t.c.
NGO’s are hardly vocal about planning and urban infrastructure issues. Thus the low income
settlements such as Iwaya are robbed of a veritable tool for the procurement and financing of
infrastructure through Internatiuonal donor funds. Such donor funds would have been available
to local NGO’s on ground for concerted community infrastructure upgrading and development.
Sadly the dearth of vocal NGO’s in urban development in the counmtry has negated this.
Thus a case has to be made for the establishment of Non-Governmental Organisations within the
country which are very active on issues regarding the provision of infrastruture in low income
settlements. Such NGO’s will aprt from serving low income settlements strenghten institutional
links via vigorous championing of commnity’s cause, offer technical and organisational capacity
where synergised efforts are required and offer financing for infrastrucutral development made
available by International donor agaencies.

REFERENCES.

Harvey J and Ernie Jowsey (2004) Urban Land Economics. London. Palgrave Macmillan.

Nubi, T.G (2003). Procuring, Managing and Financing Urban Infrastructure:Towards an


Integarted approach. In M.M Omirin. T.G.Nubi and A Fawehinmi (Eds) Land Management and
Property Tax Reform in Nigeria pp. 233-254.Published by the Department of Estate
Management, University of Lagos.

Udechukwu, C.E (20030. Financing Urban infrastrucure through the Capital Market. In M.M
Omirin. T.G.Nubi and A Fawehinmi (Eds) Land Management and Property Tax Reform in
Nigeria pp. 411-421. Published by the Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos.