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Background of the study

The In recent times there has been a rapant growth of towns and cities in this country. This growth has been accompanied with an ever increasing physical social and the technological changes as well as complex Urban Pattern of development.

This fast development with its attendant sprawling effects on the original settlement and town out skirted always cause some land use congestion. Land is one of the most essential natural resources for the survival and prosperity of humankind, and it is the platform on which human activities take place. It is also the source of materials needed for these activities. The literature offers several definitions of land and land resources, one of them comes from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “Land and Land Resources refer to a delineable area of the earth’s terrestrial surface, encompassing all attributes of the biosphere immediately above or below this surface, including those of the near-surface, climate, the soil and terrain forms, the surface hydrology (including shallow lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps), the near-surface sedimentary layers and associated groundwater and geohydrological reserve, the plant and animal populations, the human settlement pattern and physical results of past and present human activity (terracing, water storage or drainage structures, roads, buildings, etc.)” (FAO/UNEP, 1997). This definition highlights that land includes all material components needed for human activity. If land resources are to support and ensure continuity of human activity on a sustainable basis, these various components must be preserved and allowed to interact in a balanced way. This implies that land has many functions that need to be taken into consideration when planning development, to ensure that an efficient and balanced allocation of land resources results.Personal and political pressures etc. within and around the area involved.Although the Land Use Act of 1978 was meant to usher in a new land reform in Nigeria, it soon became a clog in the wheel of development over the years.

This was more so because the Military Government which promulgated it also ensured it was embedded in the Constitution of the country.    Thus, any attempt to rectify its inadequacies required a constitutional amendment.    There were thus many protests both to have the Act expunged from the Constitution and to amend it in very many substantial way.  It took the decision of the current President of the Federation to have land reform as one of the seven point agenda of his administration.   This paper is, therefore, divided into six parts.   The first discusses the land tenure situation before the Land Use Act of 1978.  The second reviews the Land Use Act and some of the challenges it has thrown up over the years.    The third then considers the 2 circumstances leading to the setting up of the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform in 2009 whilst the fourth examines the activities of the Committee since it was set up.   The fifth considers the problems which the Committee is likely to meet in the process of executing its mandate.   A concluding section reflects on the prospects before the proposed Land Reform Commission which, it is hoped, will soon take over from the Committee.

Land is perhaps the single most important natural resource in the sense that it affects every aspect of a people’s live; their food, clothing, and shelter. It is the base for producing raw material for the manufacturing industry. It is an important resource. No nation-city or rural area can survive as an entity without it. Thus, every person in a nation – the banker, the industrialist, the labourer, the educator, the student, the planner, the farmer- has a vital stake in the country’s land problems and its proper utilization (Acquaye, 1976). A careful and detailed analysis of what role land has played in the lives of the people and more importantly how the system of land tenure has evolved has affected the lives, beliefs and general disposition of the people who live on the land and thus revealed some fundamental attitudes

In 1976, Owerri became the capital of the then creates Imo State. Almost immediately,  the original settlement which were more or less residential agricultural areas became engulfed with the fast sprawling development in Owerri.However the morphology of these land activities in the area was observed not be the function of only the original settlement patten, but also a function of the government policies so in relation to the development of the area. These policies so in relation to the development of the area. These policies and their subsequent implementation in no small measure, contributed to the Owerri Urban with their resultant effects on the indigenous other inhabitants of the area, as the existing facilities in the area.


Land is a basic natural resource. It supports all human activities and it is from it that all other economic resources are derived. It can hardly be renewed or increased without adverse consequences, and therefore must be judiciously and efficiently managed in a sustainable manner for the use and good of all. The main problem of this study was to examine and evaluate the physical, social and economic effect of land use activities in its present location in Owerri Urban and recommend solution to the problems identified, because there has been series of criticism against the manner by which land was allocated to people in Owerri Urban


This research work aimed towards recognizing the existing land use situation in Owerri Urban and thus high lighting the implications and results of previous development programmes and their implications. This will then severs as basis for formulating a more functional and efficient planning programmes for the area.


1.     To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the allocation procedures.

2.     To identified the achievements and shortcoming of  land allocation.

3.     To suggest possible means of implementing better land used and allocation procedure.


The postulation of this study was that conflicts of interest often arise between political planners and the physical planners in the planning and executive of land use activities.

H0:land allocation procedure in Owerri is not effective.

H1:land allocation procedure in Owerri is effective.

H02:land use and allocation committee does not have any significant effect on land use activity in Imo State

H2:land use and allocation committee does not have a significant effect on land use activity in Imo State


The significance of study was to serve as a guide to land experts v12 Estate surveyors, lawyers etc. on the land for efficient utilization of the available land in Owerri urban. It will also help in educating the public. On the various taken by such commute to use and maintain the zoning ordinances, for uniformity in the development process of the capital city. The study will also be beneficial to researchers who intends to embark on study in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to their study. Finally the study will be beneficial to academia’s students and the general public.


the scope of this study covers critical examination of the relevance of land use and allocation committee on use and allocation of land in Imo state. But in the cause of the study, there were some constrain beyond the control of the researcher which limited the scope of the study;

(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.


LAND USE:-       Land itself is a genetic term that include the physical soil and all improvement on it such as plants, building e.t.c. the use to which any parcel of land is put to accordance to the various human activities is known as Land use.

MORPHOLOGY: Structure  of an activity or element

SPRAWL:   Urban sprawl is the irregular development of cities without apparent plan to the east, west, north and south.

URBAN:    A town/city—which supply a wide rang of good and service to its country side.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.     Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study