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Urban Sprawl and Land Speculation in Contemporary Land Administration in Bauchi Nigeria

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Urban sprawl and land speculation in Bauchi is ever on the rise and posed problems like high cost of infrastructure, farmland invasion, high commuter cost as well as real estate unattractively developed in patchy and strung out manner. This study investigates the impact of urban sprawl and land speculation on land administration in Bauchi metropolis, using multiple regression analysis and Partial Least Squares (SmartsPLS). Both urban sprawl and land speculation significantly influenced land administration, but land speculation alone tremendously influenced land administration as it accounts for 82% of the variance in the endogenous variable. Two-rate property tax is therefore recommended for curbing land speculation in the study area. Urban sprawl is an eminent phenomenon in the Bauchi metropolis due to increase in population and real property development, culminating to deforestation and land degradation (Musa, Hashim & Reba, 2017). Asadi and Habibi (2011) have reported urban sprawl as an eminent phenomenon in many cities but is not viewed as a problem if the expansion is commensurate with increase in density per capita. It tends to post problems like increase in the cost of infrastructure, reduction in farmland area, increase in commuter’s cost and time, low-density property development (Song & Zenou, 2006). Urban sprawl is seen by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) as the physical pattern of low-density expansion of urban and industrial areas invading agricultural lands and countryside; such expansion is characterized as unorganized, unattractive and scattered; property developed in patchy and strung out manner (Downs, 1999; European Environment Agency, 2006).

Urban sprawl according to Gordon and Richardson (2000) leads to increasing income inequality, longer commuting time with high cost, extinction of species, loss of agricultural land, isolation, psychological disorientation and environmental problems, these are issues of great concern to municipal land administration. Furthermore, sprawling leapfrog real property developments constitutes a waste of resources by inevitably increasing public expenditures for the provision of neighborhood infrastructure, facilities and services (Song & Zenou, 2006).

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Land speculation is land hoarding, and its impact is noticed when land supply is inelastic (as is always been its characteristics), land speculation is linked to upward change in land price (Malpezzi & Wachter, 2005), and speculators fetched huge profit, thus viewed by some people as an investment (Malpezzi & Wachter, 2005). While in Nelson and Duncan (1995), Bruegmann (2005), Bhatta (2010) and Thad (2010) land speculation is viewed as one of the leading causes of urban sprawl. Sprawl or isolated real estate development is associated with poor land administration, poor land use and development control, uncoordinated planning (Handy et al., 2002), both urban sprawl and land speculation have many causes, but the level of impact on contemporary land administration Bauchi has been identified. This may constitute impediments to land administration, thus, against this background, the study investigated the impact of urban sprawl and land speculation in contemporary land administration in Bauchi metropolis. Urban sprawl in Bauchi metropolis began to show since 1976, its extent increased exponentially in the last two decades, it was reported that from 1976 to 2015 the extent of sprawl reached about 77.55km2 (Modibbo, Shahidah, Abdulkadir & Wali, 2017). Song and Zenou (2006) characterized urban sprawl as a sparsely-located unplanned developments of low density across large expanse of urban periphery, this is associated with some socio-economic and environmental problems in that the expansion is not commensurate with density per capita, as land taken over by building outweigh population growth. Specific instance in United States raised by American Farmland Trust was that the population Los Angeles’ increase by 45% but the developed land increased by 300%; and between the year 1982 to 1997 the Upstate New York gained 2.6% in population but witnessed a 30% expansion in urbanized land (Song & Zenou, 2006). This made urban sprawl a serious problem in United States, as it raises cost of infrastructure since low-density development sprawls beyond the level of existing services.

Burchfield et al. 2006 outlined that urban sprawl can be attributed to many causes, like ground water availability, rugged terrain, and so on. Skaburskis and Tomalty (1997) found property tax might be one of the causes of urban sprawl, according to Song and Zenou (2006) this proposition was supported by convincing argument put forward by Arnott and MacKinnon (1977), Case and Grant (1991), Oates and Schwab (1997), Mills (1998), and Brueckner and Kim (2005) that property tax alone may influence developments on land leading to unorganized and scattered developments. Along this line of argument, Kahn (2001) outlined housing affordability and housing opportunity among low income earners.

Land speculation is ranked among the first key factors that cause urban sprawl as speculators envisaged appreciation in the value of real properties; according to Ranjan and Tapsuwan (2008) in Perth, Australia land owners including farmers often halts productivity and await for their lands to be considered for urban use; this is a speculative motive that inspire urban sprawl as it does not conform with land management paradigm, in this regard, land use principles are not adhered to, as posited by Enemark, Williamson and Wallace (2005). This study investigated the influence of urban sprawl and land speculation on land administration in Bauchi metropolis of Nigeria. This study derived its themes for investigation from existing relevant literature, these themes were used to develop instrument for data collection. Stakeholders in land use, land valuation, land development, land administration as well as scholars in related field within Bauchi metropolis formed the population; however, due to the fact that, exact numbers of these stakeholders has not been established due to dearth of literature, the study has apportioned equal number of questionnaires to the aforementioned five (5) groups that formed the population; and the samples were randomly picked within each group, and 200 questionnaires were distributed, 168 were retrieved. These constitutes 84% samples. Reliability analysis was conducted to check the level of consistency in the measuring items, while Multiple Regression and Partial Least Squares (SmartPLS) was simultaneously used to analyze the impact of the exogenous variables (Urban Sprawl and Land Speculation) on the endogenous variable (Land Administration) in Bauchi metropolis. The two exogenous latent variables (urban sprawl and land speculation) are both considered as reflective construct in that changes in the latent constructs can directly cause changes in their respective indicators, except for one indicator under land speculation that can be seen to have satisfied what formative measure requires. The endogenous latent variable (land administration) has indicators that can be seen as reflective on one hand and formative on the other; however, due the fact that, all the indicators are vulnerable to be influenced by the latent variable, the variable is therefore considered as a reflective construct. The factor loadings as can be seen on Figure 1, are generally good at ≥ 0.70 except for LA5 with 0.080 which is to be deleted, while 0.508 and 0.601 for LA2 and LA4 respectively are accepted and retained since such indicators have contributed to the content validity of the model, and also the Average Variance Extracted (AVE) of the latent variables shows a good value up to 0.5 and above. While all the reliability values calculated using Smart PLS revealed good results as in Table 1 above. Using multiple regression analysis, the two predictor variables accounts for 41% variance in land administration; but individually, urban sprawl accounts for only 14%, while land speculation alone account for up to 40% of the variance in land administration. It can be deduced that land speculation correlates very high with land administration than urban sprawl with land administration, thus, land speculation strongly influences land administration, however, both predictors significantly influence one another.

Similarly, in Smart PLS, the impact of land speculation on land administration has the highest regression weights (0.960 > 0.2) and T Statistics (38.166 > 1.96) indicated that land speculation accounts for almost all the variance in land administration; as against the impact of urban sprawl on land administration, whose regression weights is very low, negative and insignificant; and again with T Statistics is as low as 3.542 though significant being greater than 1.96 (Figure 2); generally, land speculation in Bauchi influences land administration more than urban sprawl given the individual analysis of urban sprawl on land administration has low R2 and low standardized regression weights (Figure 3); while impact of land speculation on land administration has very high R2 and regression weights (Figure 4). This finding has conformed to the position of Nelson and Duncan (1995), Bruegmann (2005), Bhatta (2010) and Thad (2010) who viewed land speculation as one of the leading causes of urban sprawl and is associated with poor land administration, poor land use and development control as well as uncoordinated planning (Handy et al., 2002).

In line with this results, two-rate property taxation is therefore recommended as a tool for curbing land speculation in Bauchi metropolis; as in Lavery and Banzhaf (2010) and Baba, Kasim, Adam et al. (2018) posited the alternative land administration tool for effective control of urban sprawl and land speculation is the graded land-improvement tax (split-rate tax or two-rate property rating).

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