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Historical Background Of Lokoja Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 5421 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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If a legal institution has life, it is delivered when an urge for public discipline begins to overtake events SALVATORE .J.NATOLI. Zoning was born out of such a concern for the unplanned and undisciplined growth of cities, zoning has become almost as ubiquitous as cities themselves.

Over time, and through past prudent land planning decisions, that’s the topographic organization of the campus has influenced the location of various campus functions. Though the sectors are interrelated, each has unique characteristics and specific planning priorities. A successful university campus embraces the physical context in which it resides, understands the various forces that shape its edges and mould its core, and incorporates community representation and constituencies into its planning processes. Land use zoning for institutions has been seen in the past to foster successful interactions with all who use it and simultaneously convey unity in its visual appearance with a sense of adventure and discovery. University should be cohesive in its organization while remaining open and inviting at its perimeter. By zoning, the environment communicates the importance of university in our society through its unique sense of place and academic traditions and provides the critical continuity between the past and future. University should convey a sense of dignity while celebrating the nobleness of its purpose. In supporting the basic missions of the university and providing a variety of venues for numerous events and other activities, the distinctive qualities of the physical environment are meant to provide an atmosphere conducive to intellectual discovery and interaction as well as repose and contemplation.

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A well planned campus should promote curiosity, discovery, and inspiration. The interest for this study is to balance the needs of Federal University Lokoja. Studies have shown that the initial visual impression of a campus has notable influence on prospective students when making decisions about attending a university. Perceptions of the campus environment depend on the qualities of the landscape, buildings, and the spaces between them. The research study intends to look on how land use zoning contribute in providing mechanism for the coherency of purpose and direction, which will result into an efficient, safe, and visually attractive campus environment with a view to convey and celebrate a sense of arrival – for members of the campus community as well as for visitors. The role of land use zoning in improving the qualities of the physical environment of an institution, as a unity of visual character, a unique “sense of place,” and the activities that are encompassed on the main campus, which will provide an exceptional asset to the city, the region, and Nigeria as a whole.

The contribution of higher education institutions to regional development is a theme which has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Currently, it is expected that the role of the institutions is not only to conduct education and research, but also play an active role in the development of their economic, social and cultural surroundings. In view of this, land use zoning for Federal University Lokoja permanent site cannot be compromised.

This study attempt to make a proposal of land use zoning of permanent site of the Federal University Lokoja using map produce with the use of geographical information system and computer aided design to harmonize the activities of land use in the institution in order to mitigate the spillover effect of the existing land uses in the surrounding environment.

1.2 Statement of problems

As population and human aspirations increase, land use zoning for institutional uses is seen as an important tool to mitigate the negative effects of land use and to enhance the efficient use of resource with minimal impact on future generations.

An effective zoning system promotes the future of physical development of a University which makes it to be sympathetic and respectful of the residents, business establishments, and other interests that surround it. Due to the dire urge for a rapid development, the Kogi State Government through the Ministry of Environment and Physical Development now Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development empowered the Ministry to embark on the preparation of various Layout plans and Planning Scheme. This is to address critical planning issues in Lokoja, like housing supply for both private and public use or acquisition, provision of office accommodations, through the identification of land area that are most suitable for such needs. Hence the resultant Layout plan and planning schemes spread across the metropolis.

However, some of the planning schemes have either been distorted or abandoned due to the fact that most of the basic infrastructural facilities such as roads, drainages, electricity supply e.t.c within these schemes are left unaddressed.

Due to the rapid urban growth of the town, there are many un-planned rural-urban fringe within Lokoja. This un-controlled land use has resulted in illegal construction of houses and construction on drainage channels and other areas not fit for residential construction. This is common in places like Felele, Adankolo and SarikinNoma areas among others. The stress can be displayed on the traffic congestion usually along the Okene-Abuja Express road; this congestion is associated with the already existing Kogi State Polytechnic and Lokoja International Market. The road over the years has become too narrow, with no space enough for cars to pull off the

road (i.e., park) and the space for pedestrian (walk way) is almost disappearing. This congestion is further compounded when luxurious buses and tankers travel through the roads which also house the permanent site of the Federal University.

Noise pollution is a major factor in the study area due to the quarry activities carried out along the Crusher Village by the Gitto Construction Company. They create a lot of negative impact on the environment due to the effect of blasting of rock by the Company. Disturbance in various forms is associated with this zone and makes the environment unfriendly.

As a result of the impact highlighted above, these call for concern in order to mitigate the spillover effect of the land uses associated with the surrounding environment of the institution.

1.3 Aim and Objectives


The aim of this study is to prepare a proposed land use zoning plan for Federal University Lokoja permanent site in order to mitigate the spillover effect of the existing land uses.


The objectives of the study include the following,

To ensure that the proposed land use zoning fit in with existing situation of the site and the surrounding environment.

Make provision for future development that will key in into the aim and objectives of establishing the institution.

Integrating the four categories of land uses relating to an institution (the civic administrative core, the academic zone, the student residential zone and the staff residential zone) to be functionally efficient and logically organized in accommodating a variety of needs and users.

Make recommendation that will enhance the functionality of the institution regarding to the proposed land use zoning.

1.4 Scope of study

The scope of this project is to prepare a proposed land use zoning for Federal University Lokoja permanent site, located along Okene-Abuja Road Felele covering the entire area and integrating the four categories of land uses relating to an institution (the civic administrative core, the academic zone, the student residential zone and the staff residential zone).In order to make recommendation that is aimed at improving the growth and development of the institution, the study shall be limited to the permanent site of Federal university of Lokoja which falls within 16km radius of Lokoja with a total land area of 798.52 Hectares.

1.5 Justification

There are significant reasons why this research is justifiable, the point of call is to serve as a guideline to those involved directly or indirectly with the development of campus. The institution being newly established, different proposals will spring up as to what the institution would look like in terms of planning. In view of this, a proposed land use plan for the permanent site of the university will go a long way in guiding the institution as to what kind of land use zoning pattern in terms of planning the institution would like, broaden their horizon as to what facilities and services, is suitable for a particular area and what are the prospect of sitting it there.

This research will go a long way in addressing issues regarding to land use zoning for institutions, due to the fact that most institution are usually faced with following zoning problems that includes, what type of land use zoning is required, is it adequate to address the requirement, is there a system for land use zoning, is it aimed at reducing risk while accommodating future growth and what is the institutional mechanism for implementation of zoning.

1.6 The study area

1.6.1 Historical background of Lokoja

Lokoja is one of the ancient towns in Nigeria. The town assumed metropolitan status from pre-independence days, harboring many Nigeria ethnic groups. It is both the administrative and commercial capital of Kogi state, the most centrally located state in Country. The state is located between Latitude 70 47′ N and Longitude 60 46’E.Wth an annual growth rate of 2.5% raised the population by 1996 to 49,258.

The original settlers of Lokoja were the Bassa-Nge arriving in 1831 and followed by the Oworos in 1970, Akamisoko (2002). Since then, different ethnic groups have peopled the town. The present Lokoja comprises of, in addition to the Bassa-Nges and Oworos, the EgbirraKoton, Hausa and several Nupe language groups, Kakanda, Kupa and Egan. Other Nigerian ethnic groups found in Lokoja include Yoruba, Igbo, Tiv and Igala as well as, many slave aborigines of Sierra Leone origin (being a former slave depot); Alaci (2009), Lokoja is therefore cosmopolitan in nature.

The socio-political prominence of Lokoja dates back to the 18th century British exploration, culminating in the arrival of Williams Balfour Balkie to the Lokoja in 1860. Lokoja has since been an important commercial settlement which compose of liberated Africans, immigrant settlers and indigenous populations who were encouraged to move down the top of mount Patti, thus Lokoja was transformed from a transit trading point to a viable commercial center for European firms in the early 1860’s.

The ancient town was originally ceded in 1841 to the British by the Attah [King] of Igala and was selected to be the first British Consulate in the interior (1860-1869) and subsequently, the

Military headquarters for Sir George Goldie’s Royal Niger Company (1886-1900). With this status, the town witnessed an upsurge of diverse ethnic groups who settled in Lokoja to exploit the benefits acquired from European activities. Lokoja therefore, became a melting pot for a collection of diverse ethnic groups.

Lokoja’s fame however, began to decline in 1904 when its military headquarters status was moved to Zungeru, which was further north but was restored when Lokoja became capital of the British Northern protectorate and remained a convenient administrative town for the British colonial government after the amalgamation of Northern and southern protectorate into one nation called Nigeria in 1914. The first Governor General, Lord Frederick Lugard therefore ruled the new nation of Nigeria from Lokoja.

Formerly the capital of Kabba province, it was later a Divisional and Local Government Headquarter in Kwara State. Lokoja remained part of Kwara State up to 1991. During these periods several layout plans were prepared to suit Lokoja’s status and most of these plans were known as Town planning Schemes (TPS) or layout plans (LP).Preparation of the schemes was centered on areas known as Government Reserved Area (GRA), where most top government officials and Europeans lived.

By the 27th of August 1991, the status of Lokoja was boosted when new states were created and Lokoja became the capital of the new Kogi state. This necessitated the enacting of an edict declaring Lokoja Metropolitan Area; this was put at 16km radius around the town centre marked by the General post office as the centre of the radius.





1.6.2 Geography of Lokoja

Climate: The site has a tropical climate that comprises of two season namely dry and wet seasons. The wet seasons starts from the month of April and ends in October, while the dry season starts from November and continues till March. The two seasons are affected by the south-westerly winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean and north-easterly winds which come from the Sahara Desert.

Another weather phenomenon (micro climate) is associated with the presence of inselbergs. This feature exerts an influence on local weather greater than their size.

Wind Dust: Two major air masses dominate the climate of the study area. These are the Tropical Maritime air mass and the Tropical continental air mass. The Tropical Maritime is formed over the Atlantic Ocean to the South of the country and is therefore warm and moist. It moves inland generally in a South-West to North-East direction. The Tropical Continental air mass is developed over the Sahara Desert and is therefore warm and dry and blows in the opposite direction, (north-east to south-west). The oscillation between these two air masses produces high seasonal characteristics of weather conditions in the country. The Tropical Continental air mass is associated with the dry season and the Tropical Maritime air mass creates wet season.

Rainfall:s There are two seasons, dry and wet; the dry season lasts between October and April in each year while the wet season lasts between May and September. The annual average rainfall ranges between 1000 mm and 1500 mm while the mean annual humidity is about 70%.

Humidity and Temperature: The highest temperatures in the study area always tend to occur at the end of the dry season close to the spring equinox. Thus March has the highest temperature of about 34.5o C , while the lowest temperature occur in the middle of the dry season in December/January, when outgoing radiation is encouraged by low humidity, clear skies and longer nights. The temperature at this time falls as low as 22.8o C.

In the dry season there is a decrease in relative humidity from south to north in the study area caused by the higher elevation in the north. In the rainy season, this variation disappears and associated with the high relative humidity is an extensive cloud cover over the region.

Geology: The geology are dominated largely by rocks of basement complex which consists of the varied assemblage of coarse grained porphynitic granites, dissected by pegamateric dykes and reins, iolite-horn which has undergone varied degrees of metamorphosis.

Vegetation: The vegetation of the study area falls within the Guinea Savanna belt of Nigeria. This vegetation type has many variants, affecting both the floristic diversity and the structural appearance of the plant communities. Equally, there are several Forest Reserves in the study area and some of the notable economic trees that can be found in the reserves include Iroko, Mahogany and Obeche. Human activities have however altered drastically the natural vegetation especially in the central zone where urbanization and mining activities predominate. Since Lokoja became an administrative headquarters of Kogi state in 1991, it has been experiencing an explosive population increase which had also led to expansion with significant changes in its physical landscape-land use cover types over the years. The built-up area, vacant land, cultivated land and other land use types increased in the study area at the expense of vegetation cover. For example in 1987, the vegetal cover was about 42.21km2 and by 2005, it had reduced to 8.41km2. (Alaci and Amujabi).

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Soil: The soil within the study area is mostly loamy having composition of silt, sand and clay. The surrounding hilly area like Mount Patti is composed of igneous and metamorphic rocks belonging to the basement complex. Out of this majority is composed of mica-schist gneisses and Meta sediments. Weathering of these materials from the plateau gives them a thin soil cover that is being washed down by erosion to give medium aggregates particularly desired by the building/ construction industries.

Topography: The dominant physical features of the study area in the western axis are largely mountains coupled with a number of intermittent valleys and rivers crossing the breadth of the subject area. Mount Patti which is the highest point has a height of about 458 meters above sea level and gently reduces in height till it reaches river Niger at the height of 45 meters above sea

level. On the other hand, the territory on the East of river Niger is relatively flat but perforated by the presence of low leveled rocks and tributary rivers to rivers Niger and Benue.

1.6.3 History of Federal University Lokoja (FUL) ¹

Federal university Lokoja was established along with other eight new Federal Universities on the 16th of February, 2011 following a pronouncement by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to cater for the increasing demand in the Educational sector. Soon afterwards, a vice chancellor and Registrar in the persons of Professor Abdulmumini Hassan Rafindadi and Mrs. HabibaAnavozaAdeiza were appointed. The university is sited at Lokoja, the capital city of Kogi State of Nigeria, in the North central political zone. The motto of the university sic itur ad astra, this Latin phrase means THE SKY IS THE LIMIT.

The University presently have two faculties running, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences with five degree awarding courses: Economics, English and Literary Studies, Geography, History, and Political Science and Faculty of sciences with six degree awarding courses: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics and Physics, with a total of 443 students for the first matriculation for 2012/2013 academic session starting with 185 staff. Presently the total staff strength of the University is hard to define due to the series of interview still going on for employment at different levels. With the temporary site located within Lokoja city centre at Adankolo and the permanent site recently allocated along Okene- Abuja Road Felele.





Definition of Terms

Spillover: Seen as the side effect of existing land uses of an area.

Effect: A changed state occurring as a direct of action by somebody or something else.

(FUL) ¹: Federal University of Lokoja.




This chapter reviews some of the recent literature on land use zoning for institutional uses with particular attention to the ways in which it has contributed to the development of institutional vision and transformation. This chapter will be organized as follow, the conceptual framework while the second will talk about literature review.


2.2.1 Euclidean Zoning

The term ‘Euclidean Zoning’ refers to the conventional mechanism of applying different regulations to parcels of land by creating districts that segregate land into various classes of uses such as residential, commercial, and industrial. A zoning ordinance based on ‘Euclidean Zoning’ specifies for each class of uses, called zoning districts, activities permitted as a ‘use by right’ and those activities permitted conditionally by obtaining a special use permit from the local government. Typically, in a residential district only single or multi-family residences are allowed as a ‘use by right,’ whereas only retail and office uses are allowed in a commercial district.

‘Euclidean Zoning’ is a nickname derived from the 1926 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Village of Euclid (Ohio) v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926), which affirmed the validity of comprehensive zoning. Thus, the term refers to the city where a challenge to the legality of zoning first resulted in the affirmation of zoning as a valid police power of local government.

Euclidean zoning, like all forms of zoning, runs with the land, not the owner. That means when a property is sold the zoning of the property does not change. The new owner is subject to the same class of allowable uses for the property as the previous owner. Any special conditions, such as variances or special use permits, still apply and the new owner does not need to get reauthorization for the use.

A Euclidean zoning ordinance is comprised of a zoning map and a schedule of regulations in text form. The zoning map depicts the zoning district that applies to each parcel of land in the community. The specific regulations that apply to a particular zoning district are then explained in the text of the zoning ordinance. Under Euclidean zoning, the use of private land is the activity that is principally regulated, followed by the regulation of the density of structural development, and the dimensions or ‘bulk’ of buildings on lots. Specific regulations typically found in a Euclidean zoning ordinance include the use of the property, minimum parcel size, minimum size of structures on the property, maximum height of structures, minimum setback of structures from property lines, and maximum lot coverage of structures, among others.

Euclidean zoning regulates development through land use classifications and dimensional standards. Typical land use classifications are single-family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, institutional, industrial and recreational. Each land use must comply with dimensional standards that regulate the height, bulk and area of structures. These dimensional standards typically take the form of setbacks, side yards, height limits, minimum lot sizes, and lot coverage limits. The traditional planning goals associated with Euclidean zoning are providing for orderly growth, preventing overcrowding of land and people, alleviating congestion, and separating incompatible uses (such as insuring that a noisy factory cannot be built near a residential neighborhood).

2.2.2 Performance Zoning

Performance zoning uses performance standards to regulate development. Performance standards are zoning controls that regulate the effects or impacts of a proposed development or activity on the community, instead of separating uses into various zones. The standards often relate to a site’s development capability. In agricultural areas, for example, performance zoning could be used to limit development on prime agricultural soils and allow development on lower quality soils. Performance zoning is closely tied to the planning process because the local government must identify planning goals and then write regulations that specifically achieve those goals. Performance zoning is often used in industrial zoning to control impacts such as noise, odors, smoke, and other side effects from industrial activity.

Performance zoning” is an alternative to traditional land use zoning. Whereas traditional land use zoning specifies what uses land can be put to within specified districts, performance zoning specifies the intensity of land use that is acceptable. In other words, it deals not with the use of a parcel, but the performance of a parcel and how it impacts surrounding areas.

A key goal of zoning codes is to limit conflicting and incompatible uses. Traditional Euclidean zoning does this by regulating land use and bulk. Performance zoning, however, regulates the effects or impact of land uses through performance standards. Performance standards usually concern traffic flow, density, noise and access to light and air. Developers can build almost any building that meets the performance standards for that district. Therefore, performance zoning allows for a great deal of flexibility. This level of flexibility makes it a very useful tool.


Looking at the potential spillover effect of the adjacent land uses with the existing opposite uses of Federal University Lokoja, such conflicts need to be remedied or minimized through land use zoning. These theories provide guidelines in mitigating the effect of traffic and other external effects such as noise associated with the surrounding of the campus through the use of standards to ensure adequate Landscaping, buffering, and screening to minimize the negative effects.

2.2.4 Advantages of the theory

Protect and preserve natural features in the environment by evaluating the directly the impact.

Promote public health and safety.

Manage traffic.

Provide for more orderly development and density.


2.3.1 Spillover effect and the Environmental Quality of an institution

Externalities “Spillover” effects of land use for which initiator is not held accountable (traffic congestion; run off; smoke, gases, and particle emissions; noise; urban sprawl; disorderly extension of urban infrastructure) (Katherine Mau, Real estate principle, chapter 5).

Advocates of environmental protection express exasperation with local decisions that permit developments whose adverse effects spillover to the rest of the region (Reilly, 1973). This gives rise to at least two issues. The first has it that competition among municipalities for commercial and industrial property will create a ‘race to the bottom’ in environmental quality, causing the environment of both the community and its region to be degraded. The second issue concerns itself with relations between the community and its immediate neighbors. It is commonly asserted that communities pursue a ‘beggar thy neighbor’ policy by zoning land on municipal borders for such unlovely uses as landfills, shopping centers, sewage plants and industrial parks. Because such policies may invite retaliation, the story goes; beggar they neighbor also reduces the quality of the regional environment. I shall treat them in reverse order. The ratio of evidence to assertion of the beggar-thy-neighbor idea is remarkably small. Sewage plants are, by casual observation, often close to municipal borders, but that is most likely because water runs downhill. The least costly place to put such a plant is at the lowest point in the community, and that is often the point at which a river leaves the jurisdiction and enters another. (As I tell my undergraduates, if it were practicable to require municipalities to take in drinking water downstream and release sewage in the same river upstream, each community would have the optimal incentives to treat its sewage. For less fanciful, common-law approaches to disputes among municipal neighbors, see Ellickson, 1979.) But it is worth unpacking this proposition because of the light it may shed on intercommunity relations and their consequences for environmental issues. Imposing unilateral costs on one’s immediate, permanent neighbors is perhaps one of the least profitable activities in the world, as any homeowner knows. The reason is that one has to live for a long time with such neighbors and, over the long run; there will be many opportunities for the neighbor to retaliate. The retaliation at the municipal level could be unfavorable treatment along other borders, but it more likely would be lack of cooperation in other inters municipal activities. They include mutual aid agreements for fire and police protection, cooperation for specialized school programs and coordination of regional development activities. This does not mean that all inter municipal spillover will be internalized by a self-interested spirit of neighborliness. But self-neighborliness is observed often enough in other activities that it would be strange to rule it completely out in the municipal land-use context. Where one would expect it not to succeed is when the costs can be imposed on a highly diffuse and remote group of communities. Upper-atmosphere and large-river pollution would not necessarily rise to being an affront to one’s immediate neighbors. But hardly anyone disputes the idea that such spillovers require the attention of larger-area governments, and that most of the controls should be aimed at the activity that gives rise to the pollution, not the specific location of the polluter. The ‘race to the bottom’ claim is a more common and more important criticism of local land-use autonomy (Esty, 1997). There is little doubt, as an empirical matter, that municipalities do seek to have commerce and industry located within their borders in order to promote local employment and improve the local tax base (usually property taxes). Because many communities do so, it is likely that some of the competition takes the form of relaxed environmental standards, if one understands such standards to include all conceivable infringements on residential amenities. Much of the criticism of this process comes from those who at least assert that any public sacrifice of environmental quality in exchange for other goods is unacceptable. It is generally agreed that some forms of exchange are desirable and that the presumption of a catastrophic ‘race’ to an environmental Armageddon is not warranted (Oates and Schwab, 1988; Revesz, 1992). But less extreme criticisms of regulatory federalism are possible. The more plausible anxieties focus on failures of the local political process to value the foregone amenities (Esty, 1997). Within the homeowner-dominated community, one would expect that amenities would be capitalized in the value of homes. Lower property taxes (or other ongoing fiscal benefits from firms) increase their home values, but the disamenities of firms that pay the extra taxes would tend to lower them. Several theories hold that this trade-off provides efficient incentives in the homogenous homeowner community in which the median voter prevails (Fischel, 1975; Fox, 1978). The implication of this view is, incidentally, that most ‘property rich’ communities have in fact paid for the fiscal benefits of an industrial tax base in foregone amenities; the larger tax base is not a windfall. This does not mean, of course, that homebuyers in such communities received no gains from the exchange; only that redistribution of tax bases would cause some regret (and capital losses) among communities that had been willing to accommodate industrial uses (Gurwitz, 1980; Ladd, 1976).

All of this is not to suggest that there are no asymmetries in the local process. Voters who are renters might be indifferent to improvements captured in property values, so they might be more inclined to vote for land use policies that increased their wages even if property values shrank. (This could be partly offset by rent control, which gives renters a stake in property value changes.) On the other hand, compensatory payments by firms may be inhibited by the transaction costs of working through the public sector, thus biasing the result towards a residential status quo. The more troubling issue


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