Urban and Rural Development and Patterns of Human Settlement: By the amended 1991 local government edict, all local government headquar ters are designated urban. This is not necessarily on the basis of population size, but the administrative function they are expected to perform. Such functions have led to the siting of relevant departments and offices by both federal, state and private companies.
Their newly acquired status has also led to some road construction, provision of basic amenities and services such as electricity, pipe borne water, health and postal services. Telephone services are available in Birnin Kebbi, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru only. Kebbi State has twentytwo urban areas including Koko, against the twentyone designated local government headquarters. Using population size, the eight major urban centres in the state are listed on Table 22.2.
These urban areas account for only about 12.5 percent of the population of the state. Thus more than eighty percent of population live in the rural areas in basically three forms of settlements; dispersed, nucleated and linear, with most residing in what could best be described as nucleated. People have concentrated along river valleys and close to sources of drinking water particularly in the drier parts of the state in Gwandu and Argungu emirates.
Whereas, in the more humid areas such as in Yauri and Zuru emirates, many nucleated settle ments have been relocated. Linear settlements, mainly as a response to the penetration of road network to transport farm produce and more recently to move people, have emerged.
These linear settlements always have an indigenous or early settlement where the village or district head resides. Incidentally, due to easy access, linear settlements have attracted more people at the expense of the older nucleated settle ments which at best could be said to be declining. Younger generations and a number of prospective businessmen have settled in the new (linear) settle ments leaving the aged at the older site.
One can, in many cases, see the distinction between the old and new (linear settlement) in the types of building and morphology. In the drier areas of Arewa Dandi and part of the humid south, where animal rearing is a major occupation, dispersed settlements are common amongst the Fulani, Arawa Dakarkari and Kambari. Many dispersed settlements are also common even amongst farming communities in these areas.
By their nature and design, therefore, they represent the least developed groups and areas as it has always been difficult for the state to provide them with any of the basic facilities and services. Development in the rural areas has been geared towards improving the life of the rural dwellers so as to discourage rural-urban drift.
Towards this end, the government has embarked upon a number of projects which include rural water supply schemes, rural electrification using diesel generating plants, construction of rural feeder roads and rural health centres, building of schools for both regular and nomadic children and the provision of basic farm inputs, credit and implements.
Problem of urban Primacy: Kebbi State has no problem of urban primacy. Prior to colonialism, Birnin Kebbi (the state capital) had to contend with the supremacy of Sokoto, the headquarters of the caliphate, and the emirates headquarters of Argungu, Zuru and Yauri.
Each of these, except Sokoto Emirate, consists of different cultural groups and at various times were at war with Kebbi before European colonisation in 1780 (Last, 1967). Furthermore, even after 1900, the emirates were allowed to develop independently, with a disposition towards Sokoto. Since independence in 1960, and following early state creation, the city of Sokoto had always been the state capital, (Northwest and Sokoto State) until 1991 when Kebbi State was created.
The creation of local government areas, the location of emirate headquarters away from major roads linking the north to the south, the decline in oil revenue and the fact that many of these emirate headquarters were basically agrarian with no commerce or industry, have militated against the emer gence of primate cities in Kebbi State.