EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF INFORMAL ACTIVITIES ON URBAN ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE IN MINNA, NIGERIA
Major concern of urban decision makers is allocation of space for an informal sector economy, this is because the effect of its activity on available infrastructure especially road network infrastructure. The uncoordinated spread of informal activity in Minna has continued unabated, due to high population of people trooping to Minna as a result of its closeness to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This paper examined the effect of the informal activities on neighbourhood road network in Minna, Niger State. Primary and secondary data were employed for the study, primary data were generated from residents of the areas and operators of informal activities within the neighbourhood selected, while the secondary data were sourced using the report from the Niger State Urban Development Board. Systematic random sampling technique was used in the selection of 175 respondents and descriptive statistical method of analysis was employed. The Google-Earth map of the area was digitalised using GIS method to determine the extent of encroachment on road setbacks and right of way. The result shows that most of the structures along highway corridor have been converted to commercial for informal activities use and the open spaces and vacant plots converted also, for various informal activities, such as, viewing centres which occupies 9%, car wash centres 5%; automobile mechanic workshop 9%; motor-bicycle and tricycle mechanic workshop 7%; game houses 6%. The study concluded that, the present pattern of development, especially along the major road in selected areas have negated the basic principles of smart city on the integration and communication route network within the city without optimising the efficiency of city operation and infrastructure and other services. The study recommended the monitoring of informal activities so as to reduce the rate of nuisance and decay development caused by informal activities.
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