Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ibadan, Nigeria

1. Overview of Nigeria: Economic and
Social Trends in the 20th Century
During the colonial period (end of the 19th century –
1960), the Nigerian economy depended mainly on agricultural
exports and on proceeds from the mining industry.
Small-holder peasant farmers were responsible for
the production of cocoa, coffee, rubber and timber in the
Western Region, palm produce in the Eastern Region
and cotton, groundnut, hides and skins in the Northern
Region. The major minerals were tin and columbite from
the central plateau and from the Eastern Highlands. In
the decade after independence, Nigeria pursued a
deliberate policy of import-substitution industrialisation,
which led to the establishment of many light industries,
such as food processing, textiles and fabrication of
metal and plastic wares. These were financed by
revenue derived from exports of agricultural products.
During this period, the Gross National Product grew at
a rate of about 3.2 per cent per annum.
In 1973, with the sudden increase in oil prices, the
government had a huge cash flow to invest in infrastructure
development and to greatly improve social services.
The main thrust of development plans in the 1970s
was on education, transport, water supply and urban
infrastructure on the one hand, and on rapid industrialisation
on the other hand. The latter required large
investments in vehicle assembly plants and oil refining
and petrochemicals. Thus, real wages increased in non-
The case of
Ibadan, Nigeria
by Laurent Fourchard
Laurent Fourchard
Institut Francais de Recherche en Afrique
(IFRA), University of Ibadan
Po Box 21540, Oyo State, Nigeria
Source: CIA factbook
agricultural sectors. The contribution of agriculture to
the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell from 60 percent
in the 1960s to 31 percent by the early 1980s.
Agricultural production declined because of inexpensive
imports and heavy demand for construction labour
encouraged the migration of farm workers to towns and
From being a major agricultural net exporter in the
1960s and largely self-sufficient in food, Nigeria
became a net importer of agricultural commodities.
When oil revenues fell in 1982, the economy was left
with an unsustainable import and capital-intensive
production structure; and the national budget was drastically
reduced by almost 100 per cent between 1980
and 1982. At the same time, the federal government
continued borrowing externally, accumulating a huge
foreign debt. A sizeable proportion of earnings (about
50 per cent in 1985) was spent on debt servicing The
price of oil fell dramatically in 1986 and the government
was forced to abolish import licences, to devalue the
naira and to eliminate the marketing boards.
The Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) introduced
in 1986 advocated an overall cut in government
expenditure on social services, including health and
education. Devaluation and real inflation reduced real
incomes and increased the unemployment rate.
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
2. Urbanisation Trends in Nigeria
Nigeria is one of the few countries in
Africa which had many large pre-industrial
cities before the colonial period. The
largest concentration of such towns was in
the south-western zone, which is by far the
most urbanised area of its size in sub-
Saharan Africa (NISER 1997: 10). One of
the major factors which explain the development
of pre-colonial urbanisation in this
area was the continuous internecine war
among the Yoruba. This forced peasants to
find refuge in walled cities. Among the 36
towns in the area, six towns had populations
of more than 40,000 people each by
the mid 19th century (Coquery-Vidrovitch,
1993: 252-255). The administrative structure
created by the colonial government at
the beginning of the 20th century changed
the pattern of distribution of towns in
Nigeria. New towns appeared as administrative headquarters
(Kaduna and Nsukka, for instance) or as industrial
settlements (Jos and Enugu). In the southwest, the
presence of a railway station and an administrative
headquarters reinforced the positions of a few towns
(Ibadan, Ilorin and Ogbomosho). However, the rate of
urbanisation remained very low. By 1931, less than
seven percent of Nigerians lived in urban centres (settlements
with populations of 20,000 and above). The
proportion rose to ten percent in 1952; 19.2 percent in
1963 and 42 percent in 1991 (see chart 1).
Political instability since independence (1960) and the
three-year Civil War (1967-1970) led to the displacement
of tens of thousands of people, including many
rural dwellers, who ended up settling in urban areas.
During the 1970s, the massive injection of money into
the construction of urban utilities and infrastructure
attracted a flow of rural migrants, and of citizens of other
west African countries into the federal capital city of
Lagos and into towns selected as state capitals1
(NISER 1997: 14).
3. The City of Ibadan
3.1 History of the City
In the 19th century, Yorubaland was characterised by
insecurity. The intra-Yoruba war (1825-1893) and the
military Jihad originating from Sokoto Sultanate2, which
spread from the north to the south of Nigeria, provoked
a huge movement of people from the north to the south
of Yorubaland, and from the countryside to the walled
cities. Thus, many old cities disappeared (Old-Oyo,
Owu) whereas a new generation of fortified towns came
into being (New Oyo, Abéokuta, Ibadan).
Ibadan was created in 1829 as a war camp for
warriors coming from Oyo, Ife and Ijebu. A forest site and
several ranges of hills, varying in elevation from 160 to
275 metres, offered strategic defence opportunities.
Moreover, its location at the fringe of the forest promoted
its emergence as a marketing centre for traders and
goods from both the forest and grassland areas. Ibadan
thus began as a military state and remained so until the
last decade of the 19th century. The city-state also
succeeded in building a large empire from the 1860s to
the 1890s and extended over much of northern and
eastern Yorubaland. It was appropriately nicknamed idi
Ibon, “butt of a gun”, because of its unique military character.
The warriors constituted the rulers of the city and
the most important economic group (Falola, 1984: 192).
However, the economy of Ibadan primarily rested on
agriculture (yam, maize, vegetables…), manufacture
(mainly weapons, smithery, cloth and ceramics industries)
and trade (slaves, palm oil, yam, kola for export,
shea butter, salt, horses, weapons from outside).
The colonial period reinforced the position of the city in
the Yoruba urban network. After a small boom in rubber
business (1901-1913), cocoa became the main produce
of the region and attracted European and Levantine
firms, as well as southern and northern traders from
Lagos, Ijebu-Ode and Kano among others. Their activi-
Urban Population
Rural Population
3.34 6.05 11.31 21.24 38.15 64.76
29.59 36.22 45.25 57.18 70.38 84.85
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Chart 1: Nigeria’ Rural and Urban Population, 1950-2000
Photo 1 :
View of the core area of Ibadan
and of the oldest market in Ibadan (Oja Oba)
Laurent Fourchard
Source: Onibokun and Faniran (1995: 6)
crisis and the decrease of public funds radically changed
the landscape of the city: a general decay of urban facilities
(roads, railway, water and electricity supply) and of
social services (education and health) affected Ibadan
like other Nigerian towns. Whereas urban poverty
became a national problem in the 1980s, the development
of corruption and bad government administration
increased dramatically during the military era notably
during Babangida and Abacha regimes (1984-1998)
(Amuwo, Bach and Lebeau , 2001, introduction).
3.2 Growth of the City
The exact population of Ibadan is not known because
the national census of 1991 undoubtedly underestimated
the number of inhabitants. The current estimate
today varies from 2 to 5 million inhabitants3. (Ayeni,
1994: 75; Olaniran, 1998: 11) Moreover, it is well known
that population counts during the colonial period were
more like estimates than real counts, and it is difficult to
give even an evaluation of the percentage rate of
growth. An approximation of the growth of the three
main Nigerian cities (Lagos, Ibadan, Kano) in the 20th
century reveals some unrealistic figures (Table 1): a
very low rate of growth (0.8 percent) for Ibadan between
1931 and 1952, whereas all the other West African cities
grew at a higher rate; the population of Kano increased
five fold and the population of Ibadan only two-fold
between 1960 and 1991; the population of Ibadan
increased five-fold in only one decade (1991-2000). In
1981, another calculation based on the average population
per housing unit gave an estimate of two million
inhabitants (Ayeni, 1994; 77). Nevertheless, without any
reliable alternative, we will base our analysis on the
1991 National Census.
Until 1970, Ibadan was the largest city in sub-Saharan
Africa (Lloyd et al. 1967). In 1952, it as estimated that the
total area of the city was approximately 103.8 km2 (O.
Areola, 1994: 99). However, only 36.2 km2 was built up
(see Map 1). This meant that the remaining 67 km2 were
devoted to non-urban uses, such as farmlands, river
floodplains, forest reserves and water bodies. These
“non-urban land uses” disappeared in the 1960s: an
aerial photograph in 1973 revealed that the urban landscape
had completely spread over about 100 km2 The
land area increased from 136 km2 in 1981 to 210-240
km2 in 1988-89 (Areola, 1994: 101). By the year 2000, it
is estimated that Ibadan covered 400 km2 (Onibokun
1995: 7). The growth of the built-up area during the
second half of the 20th century (from 40 km2 in the 1950s
to 250 km2 in the 1990s) shows clearly that there has
been an underestimation of the total growth of the city. In
the 1980s, the Ibadan-Lagos expressway generated the
greatest urban sprawl (east and north of the city),
followed by the Eleiyele expressway (west of the city).
Since then, Ibadan city has spread further into the neighbouring
local government areas of Akinyele and Egbeda
in particular.
ties covered both the import of manufactured articles
and the export of local agriculture produce, notably
cocoa, palm oil, palm kernels, rubber, hides and skins
(Mabogunje, 1968: 195). The railway to the North
reached Ibadan in 1901 and all road traffic from Lagos
to the North converged in Ibadan. The city became a
major point of bulk trade. Its central location and accessibility
from the capital city of Lagos were major considerations
in the choice of Ibadan as the headquarters of
the Western Provinces (1939), which became the
Western Region of Nigeria in 1952. This change
involved a substantial transfer of political power from
the British Colonial Office to the nationals of the country
and began the process of ministerial appointments
and the rapid expansion in the number of government
workers and buildings in the city (Mabogunje, 1968:
200). The importance of Ibadan was further enhanced
in 1948 by the founding of the University College which
later became the University of Ibadan. Ibadan also had
a well-equipped teaching hospital, at that time the only
one in the country. The concentration of qualified
people increased purchasing power in the city and stimulated
rapid growth in commerce and in employment
opportunities. However, Ibadan did not succeed in
attracting many big industries: there were only 47
industrial establishments employing over ten people
and 2,000 small-scale industries employing fewer than
10 people in 1963 (Mabogunje, 1968: 201).
Although the objectives of the First to the Third
National Development Plans (1960-1980) were the
acceleration of industrialisation, levels of industrialisation
remained low in Ibadan city. By 1979, the industrial
landscape was still dominated by small-scale activities
(Oketoki, 1998: 294) although a few big companies had
been established mainly in the new industrial estates.
The SAP introduced in 1986 was intended to encourage
both Nigerian and foreign investments and thus limit the
amount of imported materials and promote exportoriented
industries. Thousands of small-scale and
household industries have appeared since then in
Ibadan. Consequently, there was an increase in employment
in the informal economic sector in the 1980s and
1990s (Akerele, 1997: 39) (see below). The economic
1921 1931 1952 1960-63 1991 2000
Lagos 99 700 126 000 276 400 665 246 5,685 781 6,900 000
Ibadan 238 000 387 000 459 000 600 000 1,228 663 4,700,000
Kano 49 938 96 000 127 205 295 432 1,526 887 2,600 000
Table 1: Population of the three main cities in
Nigeria: 1921 - 2000
Sources: 1921 1931, 1952 (Mabogunje 1968); 1963 and 1991
(Population Census of Nigeria);, 1963, 1991; 2000: estimates
(Onibokun, 1987a: 98)
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
4. Social Trends and the Urban Economy
in Ibadan
Information on social trends and composition of the
city only appear with the 1952 and 1991 national
censuses. The following numbers must be considered
as rough estimates. The unequal distribution by sex in
1952 (more male than female) has disappeared in 1991
(Table 2). The 1952 census has probably overemphasised
the percentage of children under 14 in Ibadan
(Table 3). The most important figure of the change in
the active population is the drop of the proportion of
male activity between 1952 and 1991 (from almost 62
per cent to less than 49 per cent) (Table 4). This drop
can be explained in relation to the radical change which
occurred in the occupational structure of Ibadan,
between 1952 and 1991 (Charts 2 and 3).
By 1952, agricultural activities remained important in
Ibadan, like many other African towns, with 37 per cent
of the population engaged in agriculture. Trading is,
however, the primary activity of the city (almost 40 per
cent), especially among women. Craft still employs
more people than government administration, despite
the promotion of the city to the status of headquarters of
the Western Province in 1939. In the middle of the 20th
century, Ibadan kept part of its characteristics of the mid
19th century, based mainly on agriculture, trade and
The major change in the second half of the 20th
century was the disappearance of agricultural activities
within the city, ie within the area of the five local governments.
It went with the disappearance of the farm lands
and forest reserves within the city during the 1960s (see
above). If there was a real diversification in the labour
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
Map 1: The spatial growth of Ibadan City,
Table 2:
Distribution by sex
Table 3:
Distribution by age
1952 51.6 48.4
1991 49.6 50.4
SOURCE: Mabogunje, 1968,
Population Census of Nigeria,
Age %
0-14 54.9
15-49 37
50+ 8.1
0-14 42.1
15-49 48
50+ 9.2
SOURCE: Mabogunje, 1968,
Population Census of Nigeria,
Table 4: Active population
1952 61.9 49.8
1991 48.7 51.3
SOURCE: Mabogunje, 1968,
Population Census of Nigeria,
important in 1980 in urban areas (around 3 per cent), in
1996 it affected a quarter of the urban population (ibid:
26). Simultaneously, there has been a very substantial
increase in personal income inequalities. In 1997, 10
per cent of Nigerians concentrated 40.8 per cent of the
national income whereas in other rich West African
countries the top 10 per cent concentrate only a quarter
of national income (26.1 per cent in Ivory Coast, 28.8
per cent in Ghana) (Poverty and Nigeria, Nigerian
Tribune, 7 December 2000).
A generally higher price of building materials has also
increased the property market in the 1990s. The building
of the Ibadan-Lagos expressway has encouraged
many Lagosian workers to live in Ibadan where accommodation
is cheaper. This new influx has had an important
influence on Ibadan’s property market as demand
rises, giving estates agents and landlords opportunity to
push up rents4. The general increase of the property
market in the whole city led the urban poor to find rooms
in the cheapest areas of Ibadan, the inner city and
peripheral slums.
5. Governance System
Urban governance in Nigeria cannot be fully understood
without reference to the three principal levels of
power created since the 1950s: the local government,
the state government and the federal government. Each
of these levels intervenes more or less directly in urban
management. The federal government intervenes in
design and urban planning through the Federal Ministry
of Works and Housing. For their part, the states, which
were referred to as regions between
1952 and 1976, rapidly reinforced their hold on the
local governments. The local governments never really
had urban autonomy during the first half of the 20th
century. The native authority could not apply adequate
measures without reference to the British District
Officer. At the commencement of the process of
decolonisation (beginning of the 1950s) there was a
short period of urban autonomy. This was, however,
followed by two decades (1960-1980) of reduction of
the powers of local governments. During this period,
local governments were treated much like extensions of
the state government (Aliyu and Kohen, 1982:2; Bello-
Imam 1996:115). Local governments gave the party in
control at the regional level the opportunity to remove
from power political opponents who controlled cities like
Ibadan between 1952 and 1964 (Vaughan, 2000: 82).
More generally, the budget of the Ibadan Municipal
Government was subdued and controlled by the
Western Region Ministry of Local Government and from
1976, by the Oyo State Government.
In 1976, a reform aimed at according a measure of
local autonomy was initiated (universal adult suffrage
for three quarters of local government members, right to
implement by-laws) but the states still maintained
market, notably because of the development of services
(others), the major change in the occupation structure
would be the development of craft and trading
activities. More than 70 percent of active women are
involved in trading activities, whereas the craft and
industry sectors became the major sectors of employment
for men. This cannot be explained by the establishment
of a few large industrial units in the city. Rather
it is the consequence of the development of small-scale
craft and trade since the implementation of SAP in
1986. In fact, these two activities are related to the
development of informal sector. Thus, there has been
an increase in employment in the informal economic
sector of the city in the 1980s: the annual growth rate
rose from 25.8 (1984-1986) to 32.5 (1986-1990) before
dropping to 11.1 (1990-1993) (Akerele, 1997: 39). This
growth of the informal sector in petty trading and petty
craft activities was the first consequence of the current
economic crisis and the development of urban poverty
in Nigeria.
Since 1983, the economic crisis has had strong
effects on the development of slums because of the
conjunction of two major factors: a strong increase in
poverty on the one hand and an increase in property
market and rental housing on the other hand.
According to the Federal Office of Statistics, poverty
levels increased from 28.1 per cent in 1980 (representing
17.7 million people) to 65.6 per cent in 1996 (representing
67.1 million Nigerians) (FOS, 1999: 24). If the
core poor (extremely poor people) group was not
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Figure 2 and 3: Occupational Structure of Ibadan,
1952 and 1991
Sources: Mabogunje 1968: 221, Population Census of Nigeria, 1991.
Agricul ture
control and weakened the financial gains made by local
governments in the areas under their control. From the
1980s, 10 per cent of the federal budget was transferred
directly to the local governments. Nevertheless, the ability
of the local government to generate internal revenue
collapsed simultaneously, increasing their dependence
on income from federal sources (Bello-Imam, 1990:272-
4). The financial difficulties of the country had some
obvious repercussions at the level of states and municipalities.
Under these circumstances, most of the
governments could not face the challenge of galloping
urbanisation. From the beginning of the 1990s, public
services administered by the local governments (health
centres, primary and secondary schools, water distribution,
road repairs) and also the management of public
spaces (markets, stations, garages, parks, cemeteries)
were, to a large extent, passed to the hands of the
private sector (Agbola, 1994:135-149).
The general increase in the number of local governments
in Nigeria (from 301 in 1976 to 776 in 1996)
corresponds to the strong demands of the urban population.
A big city like Lagos, which had 8 local governments
in 1988 had 16 by 1991. Ibadan had 5 new local
governments within the city and eleven in the metropolitan
area by 1991. The lack of timely co-ordination
among these local governments increases the difficulties
of urban management (see below).
1. Slum Types in Nigeria
According to Agbola, two types of slum exist in
Nigerian cities. There are the traditional slums arising in
towns from the decay of existing structures and there
are spontaneous slums created by squatters on illegally
acquired lands (Agbola, 1987: 89). If this pattern represents
the majority of the slums in Ibadan, it is necessary
to reconsider the use of such terms as “traditional” and
“spontaneous”, and to show that some slums can
appear outside the inner city on legal land.
In a study on urban decay in 40 Nigerian cities,
Sylvester Abumere has concluded that the cities closely
identified the phenomenon of overcrowding are large
cities (Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Benin, Onitsha), and they
are generally ancient (all except Onitsha) (Abumere,
1987: 25-26). Moreover, most of these cities are closely
associated with overcrowded and dirty/degraded environments
(Lagos, Ibadan, Onitsha). So, urban decay
connected with over crowding is almost entirely a big
town problem in Nigeria and concerns, first of all, cities
like Lagos, Kano, Ibadan and Onitsha.
In 1985, about 68.2 per cent of the slums in Nigerian
cities were found within a radius of 1 km from the city
centre (Abumere, 1985: 33). If there are no resources
for urban renewal, the city centre, which is the oldest by
definition, turns into a slum in time. However, slums on
the city outskirts can also be found, normally in the
largest Nigerian cities (Abumere, 1987: 31). In the large
and fairly large cities, such as Enugu, Kano, Ibadan,
Lagos, a considerable proportion of slums occur at the
city outskirts, more than five km from the centre. The
main reason is that accommodation in many of the cities
has been priced, beyond what most citizens can afford.
Many low-income workers, therefore, live in low-cost
shanties or slums at the city outskirts. 15 years later, the
situation has not improved in Ibadan: General poverty
has spread out in all Nigerian cities and the Ibadan
governments have not really addressed the issue of
slums in their city.
2.Types of Slum in Ibadan According to
Age, Location and Size
Three types of slum have been identified in Ibadan
according to their age, location and size (see Map 2).
i) The oldest and largest slum is the core area of the
city, which covers the entire pre-colonial town. A
large part of the ancient walled city can be seen as a
slum, even if the inhabitants do not agree that they
live in a slum for historical reasons.
ii) A few small-scale slums, on land occupied illegally
by squatters, can be found at the margins of the
planned city.
iii) Numerous slums, generally occupied by tenants on
legal lands, are found at the outskirts of the city along
major roads or close to local labour markets. Their
size, history, socio-economic and cultural features
differ from one slum to another.
i) The inner city area is the oldest, has the lowest quality
residence and the highest population density in the
city. In the 19th century, large compounds for extended
families and warrior lineages constituted this part of the
city. With the development of the town, the core area
“growth by fission”, compounds were broken up into a
number of separate housing units (Mabogunje, 1962:
56-77). Mabogunje stated that in the 1960s one of the
major problems of Ibadan was the pre-European foundation
“because of its almost unbelievable density of
buildings, their spectacular deterioration, and virtual
absence of adequate sanitation. The differences in their
wealth, education, acquired skills, social customs, and
attitudes emphasise the social distance between the
two sections of the city” i.e. the core area and the new
colonial town (Mabogunje, 1968: 202). According to the
same author, half of the city constituted by this core
area was occupied by “slum dwellings characterised by
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
no identifiable sanitation facilities, housing in
mud, physical deterioration and the highest
population density area of the town”
(Mabogunje, 1968: 233). This statement is still
valid today: in 1985, 70 per cent of the derelict
houses were found in the inner city, i.e. at less
than two km from the centre (Abumere, 1985:
136). Since then no renewal scheme has been
implemented in the core area except in one
specific ward, Yemetu, in 1995 (see below).
The inner city today has the following characteristics.
It is the highest density area of the city
because it has a high percentage of the population
by households (see below). It has a very
high percentage of land devoted to residential
land use, as high as 90 per cent in a ward
called Elekuro.
The presence of many old markets in the
area causes traffic congestion and increases
the overcrowded situation of the area (see
Photos 1 and 2). Jibola Kumuyi states that a
large part of the inner city is an urban commercial
slum. The major features are squatting, illegal
conversion of residential and other buildings
to commercial uses, street trading and the
paucity of infrastructure facilities (Kumuyi,
1987: 122).
It has a higher percentage of poor and illiterate
people than the city average. However, the inner city
is still nowadays a heterogeneous settlement. Some of
the richer people of Ibadan who were born in the core
area have kept their father’s house for cultural and
familial reasons and generally have built one or more
villas in the new government estates.
Poor housing conditions and a high concentration of
derelict houses arising from the high cost of maintenance
of Brazilian style houses (houses with one or two
floors and a balcony). These are generally made of mud
plastered with cement and have rusted corrugated iron
roofs (Photos 3, 4, 5, 6). Because of the poor housing
conditions, the prices of rooms to rent are the cheapest
in the town. However, in Ibadan, and more generally in
Nigeria, the SAP increased the cost of building materials.
In Ibadan, the consequences of SAP were not
different from the situation in other Nigerian cities: the
cost of property maintenance became very high
(Olufemi, 1997: 45). The consequences are obvious for
poor people: on the one hand it became more difficult to
maintain houses, on the other hand landlords increased
rents. This accelerated overcrowding in certain areas of
the city.
There is a total absence of urban management and
urban planning; no waste disposal, no gutters, a limited
number of roads (Photos 7 and 8).
There is a near total lack of basic facilities like water
and electricity supply. Access to health centres is also
limited. For instance, in 1983, “not a single hospital was
located in the traditional slums of Ibadan and out of the
21 hospitals only four were located in the periphery of
the slums” (Iyun 1983: 601-616)
It has a very high percentage of indigenous people, ie
Yoruba people: the presence of non-Yorubas in this part
of the city is rare. There is a strong cultural identity,
characterised notably by a strong attachment to the land
of the grandfathers, founders of the city.
ii) The second type of slums comprises squatter settlements
found at the margins of the planned town. The
planned city has witnessed the decay of some parts of
its area in the past twenty years and the development of
a few slums at its margins.
Apart from the European reservations, the colonial
town was built for the accommodation of immigrants.
Layouts were designed and roads were constructed.
The newer eastern and western suburbs represent the
low and medium quality residential districts set up in the
first half of the 20th century (Map 3). Some of the wards
which had been established at the beginning of the 20th
century have now declined. Mokola, for instance, was
renewed in 1995 (Word Bank Project, see below). This
is also the case of Sabo, the first Hausa ward created in
1911 by the Colonial Authority to settle the Hausa trader
community at the margins of the inner city (Cohen,
1973: 113-119). The development of makeshift structures
in Sabo since the 1980s corresponds to the
general increase of poverty in the country and the will-
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Map 2: Types of Slums in Ibadan
Source: unknown
ingness of the Sabo Sarkin Hausa (head of the Hausa
community in Sabo) to welcome poor Hausa people to
the area (Interview with El Hadj Bature, Representative
of Sarkin Hausawa, Sabo). However, despite this decay,
the ward cannot be considered today to be a slum
because it hosts rich Hausa traders who are integrated
within the city. Moreover, because most of these traders
in Sabo are the owners of their houses they have interest
in maintaining them. This is in contrast to the Hausa
residents at the outskirts of the city who have difficult
access to land ownership (see below).
Housing estates are high-quality residential districts in
low-density areas. In 1959, the Regional Government,
through the Housing Corporation, designed estates for
the accommodation of the high-class population. The
first planned housing estate (Bodija) was established in
1959 (see Map 3) and was followed during the oil boom
period by the creation of several other housing estates
(eastern, northern and south-western sectors). As these
areas are supposed to be better controlled by the planning
authorities, illegal squatting has only developed on
a small scale in areas at the margins of the planned city.
The Sango slum and the Bodija Market slum are both
located adjacent to the Bodija Estate, especially along
the railway line. Actually, during the colonial period it
was forbidden, for safety reasons, to establish a market
or to build a house within 100 hundreds yards (90
metres) on either side of the railway line5. The implementation
of this rule has created a land reserve which
has been “invaded” by migrants probably during the
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
Photo 2:
View of one of the
Oja Oba market streets
Photo 3: View of the core area of Bere. The high
percentage of derelict houses is noticable at the back
of the photo.
Andrew Esiebo
Map 3: The Residential Pattern of Ibadan in the
1960s. Source: Mabogunje 1968: 225
Andrew Esiebo
1970s and the 1980s. Squatting in the area is highly
organised and cannot be considered “spontaneous”.
Actually, the land containing Bodija slum, located
between the Bodija Railway Station and the Bodija
Market, belongs to the Nigerian Railway Company
(NRC), which has built illegal houses and rented them
to the market traders (see below).
iii) The development of unplanned urbanisation along
the major roads of the city from the 1970s to the 1990s
has finally given birth to notable slums in the north, the
east and the south of the city. According to Abumere, 30
per cent of the derelict houses in Ibadan are found in the
outskirts of the city at more than five km from the centre
(Abumere, 1985:136). Most of them have been developed
because a new labour market gave opportunities
for employment: this is particularly the case for Agbowo,
close to the university and inhabited by students and
junior staff of the university (Map 3). It is also the case
of Ojoo, a mixed Hausa-Yoruba settlement founded in
the mid 1970s around the main transit market on the
Lagos-Kano Road. And it is the case of Sasa, close to
the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA),
another Hausa-Yoruba settlement. This list of peripheral
slums cannot be considered as exhaustive and some
slums probably exist in other parts of the city.
The peripheral slums can be described as follows:
􀂄 Population densities in the outskirts tend to be lower
than in the inner city, but there is unfortunately no data
available. Densities in peripheral slums depend on their
capacity to attract residents. Agbowo, for instance,
became extremely populous because of the development
of a rental housing market for thousands of
students and junior staff who cannot find accommodation
on campus. There is an average of 3.16 students
per room in Agbowo, and around 40 percent of students
occupy rooms which house between four and eight
students (Agbola et al., 2001: 91).
􀂄 As in the inner city, there is a high percentage of poor
and illiterate people, but the percentage varies from
slum to slum. Agbowo must be considered as a particular
case because it hosts many students, and a high
percentage of respondents attended secondary school
(60 percent) (Moloye, 1991: 14). In the remote eastern
outskirts of the city, 37.5 per cent of the respondents did
not go beyond primary school and only 22 per cent had
secondary school education (Adeagbo, 1998: 24). In
Sasa, the few educated inhabitants (15.3 percent) did
not have more than primary school leaving certificates
(Afolayan 1987b: 61).
􀂄 Housing conditions are quite different from in the
inner city. The houses are heterogeneous in pattern. In
the same neighbourhood, houses built in cement,
makeshift houses of wood, and derelict mud houses
plastered with cement can be found (Photos 9 and 10).
􀂄 As in the inner city, there is no urban management or
planning: no water disposal, no drains for water and a
preponderance of paths which are not viable for motor
vehicles (photos 11 and 12).
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Photo 4 :
View of Bere
from the main
Andrew Esiebo
invest money in the area because the political situation
is uncertain. Moreover, the frequent occurrence of ethnic
riots in Nigerian cities in the past 30 years is often associated
with loss of property and quick departure of
migrants in emergency situations. So, generally, they
prefer to rent houses even for over 30 years. Because,
of the presence of a strong Hausa community in certain
parts of the area, the rich indigenous landlords usually
live in other parts of the city while the poor indigenous
people stay in the ward because they can’t afford to pay
for accommodation in another ward.
Generally, local government officials recognise the
existence of slums in their administrative areas. Some
of them can even name them (see table 5).
While the facilities for electricity supply are sometimes
available, lack of potable water is one of the main problems
of these areas. Similarly, where private heath
centres exist in the outskirts, half of the people interviewed
by Demola Adeagbo in 1996 could not afford the
cost of the health services (Aleagbo, 1998: 33).
􀂄 As migrant settlements, the peripheral slums are
heterogeneous from an ethnic, professional, social or
even religious point of view. If there is a predominance of
one type of migrants (Hausa in Ojoo and Sasa, Igbo in
Agbowo), these wards are generally mixed with Yoruba
people, and with people of other tribes from Nigeria and
even West Africa (Ojoo). Churches of different confessions
and Islamic brotherhoods co-exist in these wards.
Besides the original settlement, there is a high turn-over
of people who stay for business or study. This has given
birth to a rental housing market. The price of rooms and
houses to rent in these outskirts is more or less double
or triple the price in the inner city. Socio-economical,
cultural and even political reasons explain why immigrants
prefer to stay in these parts of the city.
There is a real problem of land availability for migrants.
This is particularly the case for the latest wave of Hausa
immigrants (probably from the late seventies), for whom
access to land is difficult or almost impossible. On the
one hand, there is obviously some discriminatory allocation
of urban land. For community leaders, this factor is
an important determinant in the transformation of the
ward into a slum (like Ojoo or Sasa). On the other hand,
if Hausa traders become rich, it is unlikely that they will
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
Photo 5 : View of a pathway in Bere Photo 6 : Derelict houses in Bere
Andrew Esiebo
Table 5: Slums Cited by Local Government Officials in
Three Local Government Wards
Wards Part
of the city Officials
Bere, Olorun Sogo,
Oje, Oke-Irefin core area Ibadan North East Local
Government, official
Bere, Esu Awole,
Eleka,, Agban Gban,
Bode part of Oke Ado
core area,
colonial town
Ibadan South East Local
Government, chairman
Bere, Oja Oba, Orita
Merin, part of Ide Arere core area
Ibadan South West Local
Government, senior
Sources: Interview, 16/5/2002, interview, 22/5/2002. Interview,
Most of the wards cited are in the core area because
this the major slum of the city. We can even note that
Bere, as a central place in the core area, is divided into
different local government areas. The Ibadan South East
Local Government Chairman stated that about 60 per
cent of his local government area is a slum covering a
big part of the south inner city. However, if local government
chairmen recognise the existence of slums in their
city, there is no official definition and apparently no official
document informing on the phenomenon of slum in
the city. More or less, chairmen agree on a few similar
characteristics to describe slums. For instance, the
Ibadan North East Local Government councillor states:
“Officially, a slum is those areas that are yet to
develop in terms of good planning, settlement, and so
on. Some of the characteristics of slums are that they
lack infrastructural facilities, no layout and planning, the
people are predominantly poor and illiterate”
(interview, 22/5/2002).
For the Ibadan South East Local Government
“Slums are areas which concentrate low income
earners, low cost houses, possibly mud houses, no
layout and poor inhabitants”. (Interview, 23/5/2002)
Actually this definition concerns mainly the core area
where such problems are concentrated. This fact is quite
normal. Generally peripheral slums are located within
other local government areas. But even if officials have
been able to identify the slums in the city. The discussions
with the officials did not indicate any targeted
policy to eradicate them. Generally, local government
chairmen look at the slums as the usual problem of
poverty, which cannot be solved at the local level. The
problem is viewed with near fatalism, as clearly exemplified
by the laconic answer of the Ibadan North East Local
Government Chairman: “There is hardly any place in the
world or any city, no matter what, that does not have its
own slum” (interview, 15/5/2002). For his part, the
Ibadan North West Local Government Chairman seems
to be far away from a targeted policy: “There is not much
more we can do than clean the slums and make the area
more comfortable for the inhabitants”. Some chairmen
seem to be concerned about the problem but they do not
work in the direction of solving it: “We provide wells for
the people staying in those areas every year but the
policy is not targeted to slum residence” admitted the
Ibadan North East Local Government Chairman.
Similarly, the South West and South East Local
Governments Chairmen acknowledge that they tarred
one or two roads in their areas, but these are not specifically
targeted to a slum. It would be advantageous if
local governments within the Ibadan Municipality could
work together on a few projects (like the Ibadan
Sustainable Project). But the core area, which is divided
among five local governments, has not been a common
preoccupation since their creation in 1991.
1. Popular Understandings of Slums and
Most Nigerian newspapers give the same definition of
slums in Nigerian cities. Poor areas are almost always
associated with high-density, mountains of refuse, lack
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Photo 7:
Derelict houses in
Andrew Esiebo
or scarcity of electricity and water, deterioration of housing
conditions as well as overcrowding (“Nigeria’s deteriorating
cities and the sustainable development”, The
Guardian, 6 November 1996). People interviewed on
the definition of slums emphasised one or several criteria
related to their own problems. A few people gave a
comprehensive definition of slums. Such people are
generally involved in poverty alleviation programmes,
like this Principal Public Works Officer working at the
National Directorate of Employment:
“Slum areas have no house plan, no proper roads, no
waste disposal, no drainage. The whole environment
generally reflects the elements of poverty. There is no
pipe-born water; the areas are also overcrowded, and
diseases are rampant within the area because of the
poor sanitary state of the environment” (Interview
Hadiza Ba Zafara, a businesswoman is the leader of
northern women in Ojoo, a peripheral slum north of the
city. She works with NGOs to improve the neighbourhood:
“Poverty has to do with a man who can get a revenue
or income out of his daily activity. This is also reflected
in the way he lives, how he is dressed, how many times
he eats a day and the quality of the food and the condition
of the environment in which he lives… Slums are
places where we find, most of the time, people that are
extremely poor. Houses are cheap compared to the
other side of town because of the bad state of the
houses. And life is expensive because of lack of water,
electricity, health centres and other facilities for human
welfare. Our slums are in fact characterised by refuse
everywhere, old houses and sickly people all around,
like here in Ojoo”. (Interview, 17/5/2002)
Slums are not often related to crime and delinquency,
particularly in the inner city. This specificity was
mentioned by Mabogunje in the 1960s and has not
really changed since this date. If crime rates and insecurity
have increased in Southern Nigerian cities since
the 1970s this is actually more related to residential
areas than slums (see below). However, slums are
related to prostitution, smuggling and drugs in the
outskirts of the city, especially and logically in big
markets exposed to international flows of products and
2. Relevant Local Language Terms
The three main languages spoken in Nigeria are
Yoruba (mainly spoken in the south-west), Hausa
(mainly spoken in the north) and Igbo (mainly spoken in
the south-east). The presence of migrants from different
parts of the country and their accommodation in slums
makes it imperative to look at the way these three main
languages translate the term slum.
In Yoruba, there are many possible terms for slums:
Agboole (family compound) is one possible term
according to the Personal Assistant to the Director of
Personnel of the Ibadan North East Local Government.
It referred originally to the lineage compound and, by
extension, to the social organisation of the pre-colonial
period. Because the pre-colonial compounds have been
subdivided into many houses during the 20th century
without any layout, the term became a generic term to
describe the inner city. However, it is important to note
that for people who live in the inner city the term still
refers to the lineage or extended family and, more
specifically, to the original house. For them, Agboole
cannot refer to a slum because people don’t consider
they live in a slum. People from the inner city call the
area Ipile Ibadan (origin of Ibadan), Adugbo Atiyo (old
area) and Inu Igboro Ibadan (inner area of Ibadan) (6
Interview with M.K. Agbolu, Bere, 8/5/2002. interview
with Bashiru Olawoye, Bere, 12/5/2002.; Interview with
Motunrayo Satere, Mokola,13/5/2002). Nobody from
this area will call the place a slum because of the social
stigma such a term represents.
Hausa people will use the terms Karakara (fallen
branches) or bukoki (mud houses), which originally
meant areas where the majority of the houses are made
of straw and fallen branches. These terms obviously
referred to the countryside which, for Hausa urban
dwellers, represent the poorest way of life. By exten-
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
Photo 8 : Derelict houses in Bere, lack of drainage and
appropriate waste disposal
sion, these terms indicate the areas in a city where one
can find immigrants and extremely poor people. The
terms are also associated with a dwelling place for prostitutes,
drug addicts, thieves, drunkards, smokers, etc.
3. Slum Dwellers' Perception of their
Own Status
From the different interviews carried out in the different
neighbourhoods of Ibadan, two opposite perceptions
of the status of slum dwellers have emerged. The
first is given by the indigenous people from the inner
city, the second is given by Hausa traders from the
outskirts. These two perceptions are associated with the
status of the indigenous people or migrants the perception
of the slum as opposed to the city, the kind of activities
people engage in and the poor amenities of the
As we noted before, the indigenous population from
the inner city don’t define the city centre as a slum. It is
more or less an attribute given mostly by non-residents
or officials. However, most of the people interviewed are
very much aware that the area is less well maintained
and has more poor people than the rest of the city. This
appears clearly in the different interviews held with men
and women of various social groups who had lived in
Bere for more than 20 years:
“Bere is just a village where there are no social
amenities such as potable water, regular electricity, etc.”
(interview with K. Oladere, technician in Bere,
“In Bere there is no water, no drainage, no toilet, no
electricity, bad planning. My main income (taxi driver)
cannot be quantified because it depends on what I get
from my farm to sell” (Interview with G. Kosamutu,
retired taxi driver, Bere; 10/5/2002).
“This area (Bere) is too dirty, too rough while places
like Bodija and Mokola are very neat and well organised.
I decided to stay here because I cannot afford the
house rent of those areas” (interview with M.K. Ogbolu,
petty trader in Bere, 10/5/2002).
However, even if Bere is one of the cheapest area in
Ibadan many people stay there because of their cultural,
social and familial links (family houses, grandfather’s
“The majority of people living here were born here
and the social affiliation that links them together from
childhood to adulthood makes it difficult for them to
leave the place” (interview with K. Oladere, technician in
Bere, 10/5/2002).
The perception of their own poverty by the indigenous
people of Ibadan seems to be more accurate than their
perception of slums. This may be related to their desire to
preserve the respect accorded to the ancestors of Ibadan.
Hausa people have different perceptions of their
status as slum dwellers. This depends on the place
where they live in the city. Effectively, the perception of
dwellers in the peripheral settlements is very different
from the perception of dwellers in the inner Hausa
wards of the town. Sabo, created at the beginning of the
20th century as the first Hausa settlement, is considered
to be a developed area, well integrated in the city
and close to urban facilities. It is not considered by
anybody to be a slum, even if the situation there has
deteriorated in the last 20 years, as in other parts of
Ibadan. Bodija according to a cattle trader is “not worse
than the northern villages” where most of the traders
and dealers come from; but “it is a slum only if you
compare it to other places in Ibadan” (Interview with
Sarkin Fulani, leader of Fulani traders, Bodija,
20/5/2002). Ojoo has more international exposure
because of the presence of traders from other West
African countries and the variety of the products
exchanged. However, it is considered by its inhabitants
to be a slum because of the lack of facilities, the extensive
unplanned areas and the difficulty of building
houses in the area. Finally, Sasa is considered by its
inhabitants as the worst Hausa settlement in Ibadan for
several reasons: its distance from the city, the rural
origins of the products exchanged (foodstuffs), the difficulty
of acquiring land and building houses. These
drawbacks are clear to El Hadj Kazin Mohamed, Vice-
Chairman of the market at Sasa:
“If you have been to Sabo and Bodija, you will know
that they are better than here. Our slums are the last
(i.e. the worst). I acknowledge this” (Interview with El
Hadj Kazin Mohamed, Vice-Chairman of the market,
Sasa, 15/5/2002).
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Photo 9 : Cement houses opposite makeshift
wooden houses in Ojoo
E. Official Definitions of Poverty
The official definition given by the current federal
government is based on reports by international institutions
and consultancy services. For instance, the
Nigerian Government considers that 60 per cent of
Nigerians live below the poverty line, only 50 per cent of
the population have access to safe water, and about 38
per cent do not have access to primary health care.
These data come mainly from Word Bank and UNICEF
reports on Nigeria (Canagarajah, Ngwafon and
Thomas, 1997; World Bank, 1996; Olomajeye, 1994)
The main cause of poverty is clearly identified:
“The increasing levels of unemployment and poverty
were compounded by over two decades of political
instability, macro-economic policy inconsistencies, low
capacity utilisation in industries and the massive turn
out of school leavers and graduates by our educational
A conscious effort by government to deal with the
poverty problem began during the Third National
Development Plan (1970-1975). In 1975, poverty was
defined as follows: “existing incomes or disposable
resources are inadequate to support a minimum standard
of decent life”. However, for two decades after
independence (1960s-1970s), unemployment and
poverty were not really a national concern. Today,
poverty is defined in Nigeria as a state of long-term
deprivation of well-being, a situation considered inadequate
for a decent life. Poverty is synonymous with lack
and is also a long-term phenomenon. But beyond this
broad definition there are many opinions on how wellbeing
should be measured and what indicators should
be used. There are two main approaches. The welfarist
approach defines well-being in terms of the level of utility
attained by an individual. This approach attaches
great importance to the individual’s perception of what is
useful. The non-welfarist approach relies on what planners
consider desirable from a social point of view.
There are selective indicators to distinguish certain
goods considered to be socially useful. Since the
1980s, this last approach has been expanded (Aluko,
2000: 17).
Because poverty became a national issue in the
1980s, most people, including officials are of the opinion
that local governments cannot do much at the local
level. According to the Ibadan North Local Government
“Poverty is a disease that is affecting Africa as a
whole and Nigeria in particular. When people cannot
earn a living or they don’t have a job, it is a social
disease that links to many other social problems such
as stealing, armed robbery, prostitution, etc. There is a
lot of talk about trying to alleviate poverty, but I don’t
believe that anybody is doing enough to eradicate
poverty. It has to be a policy right from the top that a
certain amount of money must budgeted for poverty
eradication” (interview 17/5/2002).
This section will focus on three particular case studies,
which can help to identify the social, economic and
political forces that have formed and maintained the
slums since their inception to the present time. The
three slums chosen are in three different areas of
Ibadan city (the core area, the planned area, and the
outskirts). This section is mainly based on interviews
with community leaders and inhabitants of the slums.
1. From The Pre-Colonial Town to the
Main Slum of the City: the Core Area of
Ibadan, Circa 1940s –2002
The deterioration of the inner city and its poor sanitation
situation took place over a long period of time and
is closely linked with the social and economic changes
which occurred within the family compound during the
colonial period. The compound was the residential unit
for the lineage (idilé) in pre-colonial Yoruba towns.
Compounds consisted of several windowless houses
oriented towards an internal courtyard, the main place
for social, political, economic and religious activities
(Lloyd, 1967: 40). With the colonial expansion, the
Ibadan compounds, like most in West African cities,
were divided up into several housing units (Fourchard,
2003, forthcoming). With the concentration of new buildings
in every available space within and outside the
compound, the core area achieved the highest population
density within the city in the 1950s. In the early
1960s, the average number of inhabitants for a
compound in Ojé (a ward in the core area) was 90,
whereas the head of the ward could host over 350
people in his own compound (Lloyd, 1967: 67). In the
1950s, old Ibadan could house from 500 to 1,500 inhabitants
per hectare (Vennetier, 1991: 126). This state of
overcrowding forced the colonial authorities to set up a
health committee in 19427. The committee focused
attention on the proper disposal of refuse, good ventilation
for houses, and the extermination of mosquitoes.
However, the limited budget allocated to implement the
programme did not allow for much to be achieved. In
1955, an epidemic of smallpox spread out through the
whole of the old city, forcing the local government to
adopt a “slum clearance scheme” for the ancient city.
However, the opposition of the indigenous population of
the city who were dominant within the council did not
allow the implementation of the scheme (Mabogunje,
1971: 15-26). Thus, the term ”traditional slum” refers
here to process originating in the colonial period. In
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
effect, the pre-colonial town cannot be
considered as a slum. It is the growth of
the centre which has transformed it into a
slum. In 1963, Mabogunje stated that half
of the city constituted by the core area was
occupied by slum dwellings. This author
gave a comprehensive map of the extension
of slums in the core area (see Map 4).
This map is still valid today, with a few
1) The flood plains have been built-up
since the 1960s. Consequently, all the
floods of the Ogunpa stream have had
dramatic consequences: the floods that
occurred in Ibadan between 1955 and
1980 resulted in the loss of more than
230 lives. During the 1980 flood, 50,000
people, mainly in the core area, lost their homes
(Egunjobi, 1986: 147-153).
2) In 1984, an empirical study (now lost) commissioned
by the Word Bank to the Ministry of Local Government
of Oyo State emphasised the need for upgrading the
inner city. On the three areas eventually selected by
the World Bank in 1995, only one ward (Yemetu) was
chosen in the core area (east of the city).
With these few exceptions, the map drawn 40 years
ago remains valid today. The main problems facing the
upgrading of the inner city arise both from people and
authorities. For the past 50 years, people have been
opposed to any resettlement of their area. The authorities,
both at the local and the state level don’t really
have the political will or the financial capacity to upgrade
such a large area.
2. From Cattle Market to Slum: the Bodija
Market Slum, Circa 1975-2002
Bodija Market, located north of Bodija Estate, was
established officially in October 1987 to relocate the
traders from the foodstuffs market at Gege-Oritamerin
(inner city) and the cattle traders who operated earlier in
Sango (Olaoba, 1999: 20-22). Hausa cattle traders
however used the place long before 1987 because the
veterinary department and the central slaughter slab of
Ibadan were set up behind the Bodija Railway Station
for the cattle coming from the north. Madibo Ma’anshi,
who has lived there since 1974 gives a comprehensive
view of the birth of the slum:
“At the beginning, few of the dealers slept in the market
while most of the others used to go back to Sango for the
night. Gradually, people started to build small shanties
round the market using the leaves of palm trees…
Because the indigenous people started building houses
illegally along the railway line near the market, the
Railway authority began to rent the land to their workers
who, in turn, constructed houses made of wood. Today,
the Nigerian Railway Corporation rents the houses but is
no longer taking care of the place, nor do the people renting
the land…I think that is why the place looks like a
slum. The NRC used to come and lock the houses when
those that rent the land did not pay the rent”.
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Map 4: The slums in Ibadan in the 1960s (after Mabogunje, 1968: 235
Age of the Heads of Household
18-30 30-45 45-55 Above 55
male female
Marital Status of the Heads of
single married divorced widowed
male f emale
Figure 4 and 5: Age and Marital status of the
Heads of Household
Sources: fieldwork, 2002.
This story is quite comprehensive and gives an obvious
example of organised squatting between the NRC,
the NRC workers and some community leaders within
the slum. In effect, NRC land has been given to NRC
workers who built illegal houses. The reason why they
are made of wood, mud and sheet of iron is so that they
can be removed at any time (photos 13 and 14). Some
of the community leaders became, in their turn, collectors
of taxes for the benefit of NRC workers. One of
these leaders is in charge of two 10-room sheds, one
head of prostitutes is in charge of a 10-room shed.
Consequently, the rent can be quite expensive between
400 and 600 naira (4 US$). Rent has to be paid annually
in advance. So for one shed, this means between
48,000 naira (300 US$) and 72,000 naira, (480 US$).
3. From Layout Plan to Slum:
Sasa, 1967-2002
Sasa is a new slum in the remote periphery of Ibadan,
located along the Oyo Road between Ojoo (a Hausa
settlement created around 1975) and the International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) set up in 1967. The
case of Sasa is special because it represents a shift
from a layout plan, apparently well organised for relocating
displaced people, to a real slum inhabited exclusively
by poor people without access to any facilities.
In 1967, 160 acres (about 70 ha) of land were set
aside for the resettlement of 2,900 peasants from a rural
area now occupied by the IITA (Report to the Resident
Representative of the Ford Foundation Project, Ibadan,
1970). A layout plan was designed by the Town
Planning Division of the Ministry of Lands and Housing
and included roads, a piped water system, a primary
school, plots of land for the houses to be built by individual
settlers, plots for a mosque, a cemetery, a
market-side dispensary and a maternity centre
(Afolayan 1987a). The Ford Foundation financed the
construction of tarred roads, the primary school, public
septic latrines and installation of a water tank and of
water pipes. Apparently, the facilities given should have
improved the daily life of the displaced people. Actually,
the layout turned into a slum for three major reasons:
􀂄 The displaced people did not really find other job
opportunities. Their daily conditions rarely improved.
􀂄 The development of a Hausa community in the area
changed the place into a sizeable market place; but
most of the Hausa have remained tenants and do not
invest any money in the ward.
􀂄 The facilities provided in the 1970s deteriorated
In 1982, twelve years after the inception of the
community, less than half of the plots (that is, 142 plots)
had residential houses built on them. Actually many
people delayed building their own houses mainly
because they lost their incomes from agriculture (crop
harvest for males and sale of farm products for female).
The proportion of males engaged in farming fell from 53
per cent in 1967 to 21 per cent in 1982, and even these
farmers do so on a part-time basis in far-away fields or
in small plots close by (Afolayan, 1987b: 64). Two-thirds
of the respondents interviewed in the area in 1982 were
of the view that their economic situation had worsened
since their relocation to Sasa.
In the meantime, the area was inhabited in the late
1970s by Hausa traders, who
came from the main market in
the inner city (Oja Oba) where
they were no longer allowed to
off-load their foodstuffs. The
chairman of Sasa Market
“The villagers were nice to
us on our arrival. People slept
in the market with their goods
and then started gradually to
rent rooms, houses and some
even bought land and built
their own houses”.
In 1982, the Hausa resided
mostly in the stalls built around
the open market but a few of
them bought land from some
of the settlers, who initially
wanted a quick profit (Afolayan
1987 b). Actually, 180 plots
were not occupied at this time.
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
Photo 10 : Cement houses and makeshift wooden houses in Ojoo
Consequently, in 1983 a committee of experts established
by the Oyo State Governor with the help of the
Oyo State Ministry of Lands and Housing investigated
the question of land in Sasa. It is probably at this time
that the sale of land to the Hausa community was officially
stopped. Since then and according to Hausa
community leaders, the Hausa have not been allowed
to own houses in Sasa. This arrangement brought
considerable changes to the settlement of the Hausa
community in the ward. The insecurity of land tenure
and the impossibility of acquiring land in Sasa led the
tenants to not maintain the houses in which they live.
On the other hand, indigenous landlords appear not to
be particularly preoccupied with the quality of housing.
Consequently, houses quickly deteriorated. This is the
first reason proposed by the malam of the palace of
Sarkin Sasa:
“Soon after our settlement was founded, a misunderstanding
arose between the Yoruba and the Hausa. The
Hausa can only rent houses but not construct houses. I
can even say that was the beginning of the slum,
because those that could not rent tried to build huts with
fallen branches and straw, and the indigenous people
allowed it because they believed they could be
destroyed at any time”
Despite the poor conditions of the area, house rents
remain high because the Hausa traders do not really
have a choice:
“The rent here is expensive compared to what people
earn. The minimum amount is 300 naira per room
(2US$) in those slums you see, and a flat of three
bedrooms costs up to 20,000 naira per year (140 US$),
that is, about 1,700 naira per month (less than 12 US$)”.
3) The facilities provided to the community rapidly
deteriorated from the 1970s because some of them were
over-utilised by the increasing population, and some of
them have not been maintained properly. Not long after
initial facilities were installed, the Ford Foundation
handed over their maintenance to the then Western
Nigeria Government, which did little to maintain the
community: the untarred roads were subject to rapid
deterioration, the school was not well maintained and the
water pipes remained dry (Afolayan 1987 a). The situation
has worsened since 1982. The two access roads to
the market are covered with lopped-off branches to save
the heavy trucks carrying foodstuffs from getting stuck in
the mud. The market is just a large untarred open place
without any facilities for the hygienic storage of consignments
of food (photo 17). The closest sanitary centre is
6 km away and there is no water supply, no waste
disposal and no maintenance of public places. The
people complain that teachers from the public school are
permanently on strike. This happened for two months
last year because they were not paid. The major blame
goes to the Akinyele Local Government which is said to
have done nothing for the community despite the fact
that market fees constitute one of its major sources of
revenue (EH Kazim Mohamed, Vice Chairman of Sasa
Market and Afolayan 1987 b).
A questionnaire was undertaken in May 2002 with 50
heads of households in Bere, one of the better known
core slum areas in Ibadan. Only 14 women household
heads were found. Generally, in this part of the city,
heads of households are men, old and married. Few
women are heads of households and they generally
assume this role after the death of their husbands
(Charts 4 and 5). The large percentage of households
headed by old men has to be linked with the fact that
houses in the inner city are mainly family houses that
must be headed by the oldest person of the extended
family or lineage.
The income per head of household is very low. 65 per
cent of household heads have incomes of less than
5,000 naira a month (35 US$) whereas the minimum
wage for staff of state institutions was fixed in May 2000
at 7,500 naira a month (“N 7 500 is new minimum
wage”, Comet, May 29, 2000). This is related to the
occupations of the heads, who are mainly petty traders,
craftsmen or farmers without any capital (Chart 6). Most
of the women cannot even rent a place at the market but
sell three or four items in front of their house. A large
minority of the lower group live with less than 3,000
naira a month (20 US$). This income can be the only
revenue in small households (below 10 people per
house). The average size of the household is higher
than the national average and 60 per cent of the households
have more than 10 people while households with
more than 20 people are not rare (chart 7). The correla-
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Photo 11 : Path not fit for vehicles in Ojoo and
preponderance of petty water vendors in Ojoo
tion between poverty and household size is obvious in
Nigeria. In 1996, households with less than five
members showed incidences of poverty below the
national average. With more than 10 members, the
household is almost certain to be in poverty (88.5 per
cent) (FOS, 1999: 31). The main social pattern is still
dominated by the extended family and by the cultural
links existing among members of lineage.
The type of tenure is largely dominated by family
houses, which belong either collectively to the family or
to the head of the family. Only a few respondents have
bought their land and built their own houses. A few
others, generally young, are tenants. Consequently, the
percentage of landowners in Bere (85 per cent) is much
higher than the average for Nigerian cities which was
estimated, in 1993, at 27 per cent only (NISER, 1997:
28). This information gives the two main reasons why
people continue to live in the ward:
1) For the large majority, there is no other cultural
choice than to keep the house of their grand-fathers.
Leaving the place means, among other things, abandoning
the graves of their ancestors within the
compound. This is not acceptable.
2) For the minority, buying or renting a house in the
ward is the only financial alternative. Rent for a room in
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
Charts 6 and 7: Income and Household Size
6,000 -
5,000 Naira = 35 US$
Photo 13 : Street in Bodija Market slum.
Toilets are on the right, houses, on the left
0 5
Above 55 years
Below 55 years
Chart 8: Tenure Types
Photo 12 : No appropriate waste disposal in Ojoo
the area is one of the lowest within Ibadan: between 100
naira (less than 1US$) and 250 naira (2US$) a month.
In the other slums of Ibadan the minimum rent is
between 300 and 400 naira (3 US$).
Total financial expenditures of households cannot be
provided for methodological reasons (too many rough
answers), but costs of rent, transportation and water
can be approximately calculated. If the rent is one of the
cheapest in Ibadan (see above), living in the area presents
additional costs due to the necessary charges for
transportation and water.
A large majority of the respondents commute between
their house and work by public transport (around 80 per
cent) and few by foot (16 per cent). Almost nobody uses
a private car (only two persons) and a large majority of
commuters (87 per cent) go to work at a distance of
more than 1 km. Actually, except for “traditional”
markets, the inner city is not a labour place.
Consequently, most people spend 100 or 150 naira a
month on commuting (around 1US$).
Another major problem in the core area is the availability
of water and light (Chart 9). Even houses which
have the facilities (pipes and taps) cannot get water
more than once in month. The Oyo State Water
Corporation (OSWC) is still the only public agency
responsible for the supply and distribution of piped
water in Ibadan. This agency has been criticised several
times for its technical and managerial deficiencies. In
1999, only 28 per cent of Ibadan inhabitants used the
water facilities provided by the OSWC (interview with
Tunde Agbola, Director of Centre for Urban and
Regional Planning, Ibadan). The situation seems to be
worse in Bere than in other areas. For instance, in three
other wards of Ibadan, “only” 50 per cent of the respondents
get water supplies from alternative sources of
water (Akinyode, 1998: 121). In Bere, all the respondents
fetch water from private or public wells. A few
women stated that they waste three hours a day fetching
water at the only public well provided by the local
government. Moreover, all the inhabitants buy water
from private vendors: it costs around 75 naira daily per
household (for a majority of households) but the price
may climb to 200 naira for the largest households.
The situation is a bit better with respect to the electricity
supply. At present the National Electric Power
Authority (NEPA) is unable to provide electric power for
the whole of Ibadan. So the company distributes power
in Ibadan on a sharing basis. This is why the majority of
respondents indicated that they have light only occasionally.
The lack of electric power cannot be regarded
as an index of poverty in Bere, because it is a national
problem concerning all social groups.
The level of insecurity in Bere reveals some interesting
findings. If few heads of household have lost some
property or have witnessed a murder, the victimisation
survey shows that 78 per cent of respondents have
never been victim of a crime or a delinquency act. This
result is confirmed by a recent research carried out by
Idemudia in three neighbourhoods in the inner city
(Mapo, Bere, Oje): prevalence of armed robbery is
very low (15 per cent) and very different from low
density areas where the prevalence is very high (75
per cent) (Idemudia 2003 forthcoming). Answers from
respondents can be roughly divided into two different
A small group (36 per cent) estimates that the level of
insecurity is very high and the police really inefficient
without specifying the reasons. It seems to me that this
answer represents a more general feeling shared by
most of Nigerians on the deteriorating crime situation in
the country (Fourchard, Albert and Agbola 2003). A
larger group (60 per cent) thinks that the level of insecurity
is low or very low in the ward and the police control
fair or good (58 per cent). The danger for this group of
people is clearly identified: as coming from the “area
boys” of the main streets but never within the neighbourhood.
This is also confirmed by Idemudia who
calculated that prevalence of area boys was much
higher in the inner city than in residential areas
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Photo 14: Public place in Bodija market slum:
houses of mud and/ or iron sheets
Water and Electricity Supply
Daily Once every
two days
Once in a
Once in a
Not at all
Water Supply Electricity Supply
Chart 9: Water and Electricity Supply
(Idemudia 2003 forthcoming). The poverty of the area
and its exclusiveness (pathways, no public places, no
place of work, good knowledge of his neighbours)
protects the neighbourhood from a lot of passing
toughs. So, there is more feeling of security in this slum
than in residential areas. This fact was early mentioned
by Mabogunje who stated that the slum areas are not
areas of moral and social deviance, criminality and
delinquency (Mabogunje, 1968: 235). However, another
survey in peripheral slums of Ibadan, especially the
market slums (for instance, Bodija or Ojoo) would probably
give us different results.
A quick overview of the assets available in Bere
cannot inform us if these are increasing of decreasing.
It is only possible to give an estimate of different types
of capital available.
The social capital of the respondents is very low. 60
per cent take no part in any kind of association. Few
attend regular meetings of religious associations, cooperative
societies or political parties. Respondents
assert that regular fees represent the main obstacle to
their involvement in such activities. Actually, such
organisations bring to their members the only outside
loans available. 24 per cent of the respondents enjoy a
loan from co-operatives, churches, mosques and associations,
34 per cent from their family whereas the
majority cannot borrow money. The limited means of the
family explain why so many houses are not renovated
when it becomes necessary. With a low income and
large expenditures, children represent for half of the
families a not negligible human capital but a small
revenue: a quarter of the children do not attend school
to work for the family.
A huge majority of the respondents (80 per cent)
consider the government (either local or state government)
inactive in their area while 64 per cent of them
take into account the NGOs and international organisations’
efforts and especially the immunisation
campaigns planned by UNICEF (90 per cent).
1. Policies and Programmes to Eradicate
or Upgrade Slums
Because of the growth of the city, the practice of planning
and managing cities in Nigeria has become
progressively more demanding in terms of resources,
organisation and skill. Although the number and size of
agencies responsible for generating policies and exerting
powers in Nigerian cities have grown over the years,
there has not been a corresponding improvement in the
quantity and the quality of urban services rendered. In
1987, Layi Egunjobi counted 16 institutions directly
involved in decision-making for the Ibadan Metropolitan
Area. Besides local governments, there were state
agencies such as the Town Planning Division of Oyo
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
Photo 15 : View of two ten-room sheds along the railway in Bodija market slum
State Ministry of Local Government, Oyo State Property
Development Corporation, Oyo State Water Corporation
and federal agencies such National Electric Power
Authority and Nigerian Telecommunications Limited. An
examination of the working of these agencies shows a
duplicity of functions and a lack of co-ordination among
them (Egunjobi and Oladoja 1987: 87). This mismanagement
affects the whole city rather than just the
Since the 1990s, the lack of timely co-ordination
among institutions has increased. In 1991, the Ibadan
Municipal Government was divided like a cake into five
local governments (Map 2). Most authors agree that the
conflict of jurisdiction and competence and the absence
of effective co-ordinating committees between these
levels of government, have generally given rise to delays
and confusion in the execution of urban politics. The
multiplication of local governments within the city has had
a direct effect on the management of slums: any project
for the renewal of the inner city, which is the biggest slum
in Ibadan requires the agreement of the five local government
chairmen. Lack of professional capacity, frequent
bureaucratic changes and competition instead of cooperation
among the chairmen did not permit the governments
to implement co-ordinated policies.
Other reasons should be advanced to explain the
very limited impact of government policies on the development
of slums in Ibadan. On the one hand, most of
the state governments in Nigeria have accorded very
low priority to physical planning and most of the states
in the Federation have not given the urban centres the
priority and the resources they need (Onibokun, 1998:
12). On the other hand, local governments even if they
were promoted in the 1970s to govern at the grass root
level cannot really assume their duties. A 1995 survey
indicates that between 13 and 70 per cent of the local
governments in Nigeria did not actually perform their
functions (ibid). Not surprisingly, the World Bank states
that barriers to the participation of the private sector in
different aspects of urban infrastructure and services
need to be removed while it is useless to reinforce
government finance to improve urban policies (World
Bank, 1995: 22). Actually, the lack of funds is one of the
main constraints that local governments have to face. In
the middle of the 1990s, over 60 per cent of their total
revenue was spent on current expenditure and less
than 20 per cent was available for capital expenditure
(Onibokun, 1998: 14).
Local government finance depends mainly on the
allocation given by federal government (20 per cent
since 1987) and by state government (10 per cent of the
revenue generated within the state). During the 20 first
years of independence, development of Nigerian urban
centres was mainly based on federal and state grants
rather than on true urban economic foundations (Abdu,
1997: 8). Economic pressures since the 1980s have
forced various governments to cut back their grants to
local governments. The irregular allocation given both
by federal and state governments is well emphasised by
local government chairmen interviewed:
“There is not much that we are able to do as a result
of the zero allocation syndrome. All the promises we
gave the electorate have not been fulfilled” (interview
with the North West Local Government Chairman)
“I stayed almost 36 months, and I took allocations
for only 9 months. This zero allocation has made it difficult
to pay workers now and prohibited us to a big extent
from the execution of infrastructure projects” (Interview
with South East Local Government Chairman).
This institutional and financial framework has to be
taken into consideration to understand why policies and
programs have generally failed for the improvement of
slums in Ibadan city. A more detailed analysis must also
be addressed to understanding specific reasons of the
failure for each case under consideration.
1) The Oyo State Urban Renewal Scheme, a
World Bank Assisted Project
According to Akinyode, the Ibadan Metropolitan
Planning Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of
Lands and Housing of Oyo State decided in 1988 to
embark on the urban renewal of Ibadan (Akinyode,
1998: 38). Actually, the project started earlier with a first
pilot study commissioned in 1984 by the World Bank to
the Town Planning Division of the Ministry of Local
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Photo 16 : Inside view of a ten-room shed
Government of Oyo State and called Upgrading of Core
Areas: A Report on 3 Areas in Ibadan for Word Bank
Pilot Project (interview with Tunde Agbola, Director of
the Centre for Urban and Regional Planning, Ibadan).
The major focus of the project was to improve various
aspects of housing, living and environmental conditions
of different slums in Ibadan. For an unknown reason, a
new study was started in 1988 by various consultants
which selected three neighbourhoods in Ibadan:
Mokola, Agugu and Yemetu (Akinyode, 1998: 42). The
first area was a layout ward created by the colonial
administration, the second one was at that time a
peripheral settlement, the last one was the only area
selected in the inner city.
We don’t know why an initial project focusing on
upgrading of core areas in Ibadan shifted to upgrading
three different areas, one of which almost cannot be
considered a slum (Mokola). Some financial considerations
highlight this change. Mokola was selected
because “the availability of some infrastructure facilities
in this area would, no doubt, reduce the cost of upgrading”
(Akinyode, 1998: 41). Yemetu/Adeoyo in the core
area was short-listed also because the area has not
totally degenerated into a typical slum that will need
comprehensive re-development. This gives the area an
advantage over Ayeye, Foko, Isale-Osi (three neighbourhoods
in the Core area). “Also the area has some
infrastructure facilities which can be upgraded at a minimum
cost” (Akinyode, 1998: 42). The physical plan
consisted mainly in providing street lights, tarred roads,
public toilets, drainage, refuse disposal sites and resettlement
sites. 62,000 people were supposed to benefit
from the project. After the evaluation, the project started
in 1989 and was completed in 1995.
2) The Urban Basic Services (UBS) Programme
is a programme of co-operation between the Federal
Government of Nigeria and UNICEF to tackle the problems
of the urban poor especially women and children
who are the mostly deprived of urban basic services
such as water, sanitation, health, educational facilities,
employment and shelter (FGN-UNICEF 1997: 3). The
programme contributes to the alleviation of urban
poverty both in terms of income generation and
improved access to basic services, thus reducing the
incidence of Children in Especially Difficult
Circumstances. The UBS programme activities were
implemented in 72 slums and squatter communities
including Ibadan, Lagos, Kaduna, Onitsha and Port
Harcourt. In Ibadan, UBS projects are currently going on
in four communities in Ayeye and Agebni in Ibadan North
West Local Government and Mapo and Eleta in Ibadan
South East Local Government (Wahab, 1998: 58).
2. Policies and Programmes to Eradicate
or Alleviate Poverty
Federal Programmes
Alex Gboyega (1999) has summarised the federal
programmes aimed at alleviating poverty in Nigeria
within the twelve past years. Among eleven
programmes, six are oriented to the rural areas. The
others are the National Directorate of Employment
(NDE) whose vocational skills development and small
scale enterprises programmes designed to combat
mass unemployment; The People’s Bank Programme
and the Community Bank Programme designed to
make bank services more accessible and extend credit
services to the poor; The Mass Mobilisation for Social
and Economic Recovery; The National Urban Mass
Transit Programme to provide a cheap modes of transport
to the urban poor; and The Oil Mineral Producing
Area Development Commission that provides special
development aid to the juvenile delinquents. Among
these programmes, the first one plays the role of an
agency giving micro-credit loans to candidates who
have successfully completed the training programme of
the agency. The NDE is supposed to have offices in all
the states and training centres located in local governments
and wards. At the end of the training programme
a micro-credit loan is given to participants to establish
the trade for which they have been trained (Interview
with the Programme Officer of the Federal Secretariat,
Ibadan, 9th of May, 2002).
Multilateral Aid Programmes
The Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) is a joint
initiative of the United Nations Centre for Human
Settlements (Habitat) and the United Nations
Environmental Programme (UNEP). It was launched in
August 1990, as part of the Urban Management
Programme, in order to provide municipal authorities
and their partners in the public, private and
community/popular sectors with improved abilities and
capacities for environmental planning and management
(UNCHS 1996: 413). The Sustainable Ibadan Project
(SIP) is a component of the SCP. Its creation was
preceded by a request from the Oyo State Government
to the UNCHS in February 1991 to include Ibadan in its
SCP. The SIP was approved and signed in April 1994
making Ibadan city one of the 12 cities in the world to be
selected for the demonstration of the SCP. The first
consultation in October 1996 gathered more than 500
people including the eleven local governments of the
Ibadan Metropolitan Area, federal agencies and Oyo
State agencies. Three priorities were identified: waste
management, water supply and the Institutionalisation
of the Environmental Planning and Management (EPM).
Various parts of the city were selected, mainly at the
outskirts. The objective of SIP was not to target specifi-
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
cally the slums of the city, but few parts of the city
included in the project could be regarded as slums
(Bodija Market and its immediate residential neighbourhoods
and the southern outskirts of the city) (Adesanya,
2000: 32-3).
3. Non-Governmental Interventions:
Community-Based and NGO-Based
A recent study of community based organisations
(CBOs) in the Ibadan metropolitan area shows that the
level of activity of these associations is highest in the high
density area (ie the core area) (Ogbuozobe, 2000: 46-8).
The study indicates especially the development during
the last 15 years of Community Development
Associations (CDA). 90 per cent of the members of CDAs
in Ibadan are based in the high density area (12,794
members of a total of 14,004) whereas the medium and
low density areas are more concerned with social clubs
and religious based organisations (ibid: 22). The major
objective of the CDAs is the development of the communities
of origin (usually outside Ibadan). This finding is
important and demonstrates that people from the core
area still have strong links with the countryside and that
CDAs contribute by way of payments of levies, contributions
and donations to the provision of infrastructure such
as roads, schools, electricity and health facilities in their
towns and villages of origin (ibid: 19). The next most
important CBOs in Ibadan are the co-operatives which
have funds for lending to members with a view to assisting
members in their businesses or ventures, purchasing
goods in bulk and reselling to members.
Federal Programmes
There has been a massive failure of the programmes
for alleviating poverty in Nigeria. One crucial area that
remained unaddressed is the weakened capacity of the
municipal governments to formulate strategies,
programmes and projects that address the peculiar
dimension of poverty in the cities. Moreover, the institutionalisation
of corruption, conflicts between various
levels of government and the proliferation of institutions
to handle the same or closely related projects “wasted
the resources which would have been judiciously used
to combat urban poverty” ( Akinola and Olowu1995: 37).
The Oyo State Urban Renewal Schemes and
the UBS Project
The Oyo State Urban Renewal Schemes allowed the
renewal of the three selected areas (Mokola, Yemetu,
Agugu) between 1988 and 1995. The results for the
three mentioned areas are as follows: though residential
land use still takes the lion’s share of the total land
area, it has reduced in coverage to give room for the
provision of new road construction, drainage, infrastructural
facilities and open space for recreation. Moreover,
a majority of the people of the selected areas estimated
that the solid waste situation has improved during the
past two years (Akinyode, 1998: 157-160). Four years
later, the results seem to be less optimistic. The OSWC
(quoted p. 19) is unable, like in other parts of Ibadan to
supply and distribute water effectively to the three
areas. The streetlights have been gradually stolen in
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Photo 17:
The foodstuff
market in Sasa
Andrew Esiebo
Mokola. A more important failure is the very long delay
between the period of its first initiation (1983) and the
final implementation (1997), due party to the change of
ten state civil and military governors during the period. If
these three areas in Ibadan cannot be regarded as
slums today, the core area that was supposed to benefit
initially from this project is still the biggest slum in
The role of community heads and opinion leaders in
the implementation of the UBS projects in Ibadan does
not appear clearly (Wahab, 1998). However, from the
interviews carried out in Bere, it appears that immunisation
campaigns from UNICEF constitute the most important
interventions mentioned by the respondents in this
area. A more general overview is still needed to determine
if this programme has been implemented in all
parts scheduled in the initial project for Ibadan.
Multilateral Aid Programmes
The Sustainable Ibadan Project. Although there is a
resource centre for environmental data/information, the
implementation of the projects after five years seems to
be limited to few operations (fertiliser plant, bore holes,
mini-water supply work, a few toilets, a few road rehabilitations)
scattered through the city and slums, especially
the core area (SIP, 2001). More generally, there
has been a sharp decline in interest on the part of the
relevant stakeholders and a drop in attendance at meetings
by Working Group and Sub Working Group (SWG)
members (Adesanya, 2000: 34). The initial interest
shown by state and local governments has waned
considerably. In fact government officials were disappointed
since community members monitor the project
and fund disbursement. For instance, the North Local
Government leadership from 1995 to 1998 refused to
participate in the improvement activities in Bodija
Market (Wahab, 1998: 61). Moreover the dearth of
funds has been a major impediment to plans. For
instance, in spite of the preparation and submission of
project proposals by the Bodija Market Toilet
Improvement SWG (quoted below) and the Bodija
Market Waste Management SWG, among others, the
proposals had to be reasonably delayed due to unavailability
of funds (Adesanya, 2000: 34). The immediate
neighbourhood of the market which was targeted in the
project has been totally neglected for reasons it remains
to explain. Another relevant failure is due to the lack of
co-ordination between the stakeholders and the different
levels of government and even among local governments.
Of 162 projects completed by CBOs in Ibadan, half of
them (83) have been carried out in high density areas
and 80 per cent of these projects were social services
projects (health, education and social welfare)
(Ogbuozobe, 2000: 38-42 ). It is a significant result but
these CBOs face specific problems like inadequacy of
funds for the execution of the planned projects, lack of
managerial capacity, financial indiscipline and lack of
accountability (ibid: 42-43). Actually, it is very doubtful
that CBOs can really improve the living conditions of the
people in slums. As an officer of the SIP emphasised,
“CBOs don’t have enough money to carry out projects
that will have meaningful impact on the lives of the
people” (interview with S.P. Adamu, SIP officer).
Moereover, CBOs in Ibadan are not really targeted to
poor people. While Francis wrote that Nigerian CBOs
provide support for the indigents of the community
(Francis and al. 1996: 29) Ogbuozobe stated that CBOs
in Ibadan provide mainly support for the members of the
association (Ogbuozobe, 2000: 41). We agree with this
last statement. Effectively questionnaires as well as
interviews conducted in Bere indicated that either the
people participated in associations for their own benefit,
or they were too poor to afford the membership of such
From the various examples examined above we can
consider that most of the projects have failed even if
some of them have been locally successful. We need
also to consider that since the 1950s, the inhabitants of
the inner city have been opposed to any resettlement,
and that a renewal of the urban centre cannot be implemented
without the consent of the dwellers. This factor
is not peculiar to Ibadan. Okolocha has shown for Benin
city an opposition to relocation for identical reasons:
most of the dwellers are owners of their house; the presence
of siblings in the slum environment is contributory
to attachment to the slum, most of the people interviewed
have lived in the area for more than ten years,
low rentals attracted the poorest people in the city (,
Okolocha, 1987: 33-42). Slum dwellers may actually
oppose any resettlement due to certain social
constraints even if slum dwelling is detestable to the
committed slum dwellers.
So a resettlement of the people of the inner city is not
probably the solution for the eradication of the slum.
One operation could be mentioned as a possible way to
develop appropriate partnership between states, international
agencies and CBOs to change the landscape
in the inner city in Ibadan. We noticed earlier that
Yemetu was the only neighbourhood in the core area
that has been renewed in the mid 1990s (see above).
After asking the people about their fundamental needs,
SIP decided to tap the Agbadagbu spring located at
Yemetu to provide clear and cheap water to the inhabitants
of the ward. Then SIP convinced donators to
Urban Slums Reports: The case of Ibadan, Nigeria
contribute money for the implementation of the work.
While the inhabitants gathered 60,000 naira (428 US$)
Unicef gave 100 bags of cement, the State Government
600,000 naira (4280 US$) and the Local Government
650,000 (4640 US$) NEED TO CONVERT naira (interview
with S.P. Adamu, SIP officer).
The involvement of the people is the major reason for
the success of this operation according to this SIP officer.
People decided on the priority for their neighbourhood;
they contributed money before taking over the
management of the project. The whole participation
process has been done under the guidance of the
community elders who have decided to now the time to
fetch water and the cost of the water for the sustainability
of the project. Finally, any other project to be carried
out within the core area cannot be implemented without
the contribution of the community elders and the CBOs.
A stronger partnership between these local associations,
states and international agencies remains one of
the main way to improve the living conditions in the core
area which remains today the major slum of Ibadan.
1 From 1960 to 1991 47 states were created in Nigeria.
2 The Sokoto Sultanate was founded in 1804 by
Ousmane Dan Fodio.
3 National Census in Nigeria is a sensitive political issue
because the federal allocation to the States is based on
the population of the State.
4 “Changing Tempo of Ibadan Property Market” in
Third Eye on Sunday, May 14, 1995.
5 National Archives of Nigeria, Ibadan, Ibadan division,
letter of the 19/2/1934 from the district Officer Ibadan to
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7 National Archives, Ibadan, Ibadan Division, 1978,
Minutes of the Ibadan Health Committee Meeting held
at the Mapo Hall on the 12th of May 1943.
GDP Gross Domestic Product
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List of Interviews
Of the 40 in depth interviews carried out in May 2002,
the following were used in the preparation of the current
Interviews with Officials
Ibadan South East Local Government Chairman,
Ibadan North Local Government Chairman, 23/5/2002
Ibadan North East Local Government Chairman,
Ibadan North West Local Government Chairman,
Principal Public Works Officer at the National
Directorate of Employment, 10/5/2002
Ibadan North East Local Government Official,
Ibadan South West Local Government, Senior
Administrator, 16/5/2002
Interviews with Community Leaders
El Hadj Bature, representative of Sarkin Hausawa,
Sabo, 17/5/2002
El Hadj Mahamadu Dan Ali, Sarkin Fulani, leader of
Fulani traders, Bodija, 20/5/2002
El Hadj Kazin Mohamed, Vice-Chairman of the market
at Sasa, 15/2/2002
Malam Maman Sami, Malam of the palace of Sarkin
Sasa, 10/2/2002
Interviews with People from Different Places and
Social Groups
Madibo Ma’anshi, security man in the Bodija cattle
market, 22/5/2002
Sahura, Magagia, head of prostitutes, Bodija,
Hadiza Ba Zafara, business woman, leader of northern
women, Ojoo, 17/5/2002
K. Oladere, technician, Bere, 10/5/2002.
G. Kosamutu, retired taxi driver, Bere, 10/5/2002.
M.K. Ogbolu, petty trader, Bere, 10/5/2002.
UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003