Urban governance

Urban governance and spatial inequality in service delivery: a case study of solid waste management in Abuja, Nigeria

Upphovsperson: Adama, Onyanta
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics |
År: 2012
Ämnesord: Urban governance, spatial inequality, State, Privatization, solid waste management, Abuja, Nigeria, SOCIAL SCIENCES, SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP
Spatial inequality in service delivery is a common feature in African cities. Several factors account for the phenomenon but there is growing attention towards urban governance and the role of the state. Urban governance policies such as privatization serve as key strategies through which the state regulates and (re)produces spatial inequality in service delivery. This study examined how governance practices related to privatization and the regulatory role of the state reinforce spatial inequalities in the delivery of solid waste services in Abuja, Nigeria. It focused primarily on the issue of cost recovery. Privatization became a major focus in Abuja in 2003 when the government launched a pilot scheme. Although it has brought improvements in service delivery, privatization has also increased the gap in the quality of services delivered in different parts of the city. Drawing on empirical data, the study revealed that little sensitivity to income and affordability, and to income differentials between neighbourhoods in the fixing of user charges and in the choice of the billing method is contributing to spatial inequalities in service delivery. Furthermore, the study suggests that these practices are linked to a broader issue, a failure of the government to see the people as partners. It therefore calls for more inclusive governance especially in decision-making processes. The study also emphasizes the need for a policy document on solid waste management, as this would encourage a critical assessment of vital issues including how privatization is to be funded, especially inlow-income areas.