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Governing from Above: Solid Waste Management in Nigeria's New Capital City of Abuja
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral dissertation examines how the symbolic character of a relocated capital city influences and intersects with local conditions to shape the governance structure and relations in service delivery. The focus is on Abuja, the new capital city of Nigeria, and the sector studied is solid waste management. Abuja was planned to avoid the numerous problems facing other Nigerian cities. Contrary to the intention of government and planners, the city now houses the fastest growing slum in the country. There are various possible explanations for these outcomes but this study pays particular attention to the conception of Abuja as a symbol of national unity.

The ‘good governance’ agenda is often promoted by the World Bank and donors as a way of handling the numerous challenges facing African governments, including service delivery. A major expectation of the agenda is that local governments manage the urban development process in conjunction with an array of institutions ranging from the private sector to community groups and households. An underlying notion is that of a minimalist national state. This is not the case in Abuja, where governance is conducted at higher levels and the municipal council remains largely invisible. This is manifested in solid waste management, where the municipal council has no jurisdiction over the sector. In addition, community groups and households play very minimal roles in the governance of services. Drawing on the concept of space and place, the study concludes that the types of institutions found and their roles and relations are shaped by the national function of the city and the local power relations.

The study draws on primary and secondary data. Interviews were conducted with state officials, community leaders, households and interest groups, such as the private sector. Secondary data were obtained from government documents, studies and newspaper reports.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2007. , 223 p.
Stockholm studies in human geography, ISSN 0349-7003 ; 17
Keyword [en]
governance, space, place, solid waste management, relocated capital city, Abuja, Nigeria
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6845ISBN: 978-91-85445-67-7OAI: diva2:197191
Public defence
2007-06-12, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2007-05-21 Created: 2007-05-21 Last updated: 2012-07-09Bibliographically approved

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