1.1 Background of the Study
As cities become the center piece of contemporary development and as land becomes more scarce and inaccessible for requisite developmental purposes, the quest to ration supply, control and regulate its use also become more compelling (Agbola, 1997). He reiterated further that, the major rationale for the evolvement and or enactment of various land use control laws and regulations is to safeguard, to conserve, and regulate the use of land in the interest of the overall public. However, and until now, land use control polices have not been effective in cities of developing countries and Nigeria in particular. The relevance of development control cannot be over emphasized. Development control is a physical planning instrument, which generally involves the regulations, retraining and keeping in order or checking materials change on land (Ogundele et all 2011)
In many countries of developing nations, urban growth has outpaced the ability of government to enforce legislation needed to make life in cities safe, rewarding, and healthy (WHO, 2010). This is observed in processes involved in locational attributes of many developmental. Land use such as industrial, residential, commercial, especially filing stations and retail gas shops.
Rapid urban growth as well as hike in price of bio fuel most especially kerosene has led to rapid increase in the usage of gas for cooking in homes of different socio economic status. This has led to proliferation of gas stations most of which are located haphazardly in different neighborhood of urban centers. In assessing the location of gas shops, the location of filling stations cannot be left out, considering the fact that some filling stations have included Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as part of their products. A number of these gas stations and shops lack the requisite safety measures (i.e fire standards, approval for space usage and waste management) as well as operational licenses from the regulatory bodies. Retail gas shops are being sited not far from each other irrationally particularly in residential areas, against the guidelines for siting such accident-prone facilities. This practice portends a dangerous trend, putting the operators and residents of the vicinity at heightened public health risk. (Afolabi Olusegun, 2011 et all).
A filling gas station by definition is a facility where fuel and lubricants for automobiles are sold. Fuels sold at these facilities include petrol (Premium Motor Spirit [PMS]), Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG], diesel (Automated Gas Oil [AGO]) and kerosene (Dual Purpose Kerosene [DPK]) (Ogundahunsi 2014). He said further that, these fuels retailed are flammable liquids, which can give off flammable vapour, even at very low temperature. This attributes however suggest that there is a risk of fire or explosion if they are not properly handled or if a source of ignition is present. Further to this, is the fact that it floats on the surface of water and may travel long distances and based on the characterized and coupled with the fact that, eventually causing danger away from the place where it escaped. (Afolabi et all,2011) Petroleum products are highly inflammable thus its exploration, transportation, offloading, storing and sales point and facilities should not be taken for granted like other product.( Suleiman 2018, et al)
Development and environment cannot be separated. They are linked, although development cannot subsist upon a deteriorating environmental resource base, Neighborhood and environment in general cannot be protected when growth leave out account for costs of environment destruction(Ogundahunsi 2014). It is however necessary to strike out a balance between the need to allow certain development and the need to protect and sustain the intrinsic qualities of that immediate environment. (Adeniyi, 2005). This scenario is also applicable to sitting of gas stations or shops and their implication on the environment.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), the major subject of this study, has a very wide variety of uses. It serves as fuel for cooking, central heating as well as water heating. It is cost-effective and efficient way to heat off-grid homes. However, it has both desirable and adverse effects when located in a neighborhood. The anticipated advantages are due to the services a gas station provides such as cylinder refill, vehicle fuel refill, diesel fuel refill, basic vehicle maintenance, technical check-up, tire pressure check and adjustments, oil and lube change as well as car wash (Oula Local Fuel Marketing Co. Kuwait, 2009). These services provided has contributed immensely to its un precedented increase in most residential neighborhood.
The sporadic development of siting gas stations or shops in an unguided way can pose a major challenge to any neigbourhood or city. The severity of these challenge can also result to loss of lives and valuable properties, making the environment susceptible to hazards and disaster. Hence, against this background there is need to assess the spatial and locational attributes of retail gas shops in Ogbomosho township. This will provide environmental information and also provide measures to guide its locational attributes.This is the thrust of this research.
Urbanization and urban growth are major factors that contribute to the need of more industries and the emergence for more facilities to serve the urban residents (WHO, 2010). In Nigeria, population growth rate has continued to outpace the ability of the government to build essential infrastructure, enforce legislation needed to make life safe, rewarding, healthy and economic worthy. Afolabi and Olajide (2011), remarked that the pathetic economic situation in Nigeria has affected the prices of bio fuels. This has exacerbated the increasing demand for gas products and thus leading to proliferation of gas stations with less consideration for minimum environmental safety requirements for their operations.
The Increase in the demand for gas has induced unprecedented distribution of gas stations and retail shops. This has brought about more investors (both public and private investors) venturing into gas refilling business, for the purpose of meeting the demand of the consumer and to sustain livelihood because of unemployment art syndrome. Most of these disregards the requirement for suitable location. More importantly gas retail shops, being the major focus of this study, are situated in close proximity to residential areas without adequate consideration to the negativities that may be associated with the location in most cities and particularly in Ogbomosho a rapidly growing urban center. The distance between one station and the other are often trivialized, rather utmost attention is given to patronage at the expense of danger that may be involved.
In locating gas stations, it is important to take some precautionary measures particularly in areas of high traffic congestions and residential buildings. Based on this observed challenge the research seeks to address the following question:
- What are the factors responsible for the sitting and spatial pattern of the gas filling station in ogbomoso?
- What is the impact of gas retailed shops in the study area or its perceived problem to residents livability?
- Is there any standard guiding the sitting of retail gas shops?
These locational attributes of gas filling station are predominant in most cities of developing nation and most especially in Ogbomoso. The need to appraise the spatial attribute is of importance in this research particularly the locational characteristics and its level of compliance to planning standard if there is any( is the utmost interest of this research).
This research is needed for different reasons and these reasons are summed under economic, political, commercial and thematic justification. In terms of commercial and the economic justification of this study, it is no more a news that oil and gas have taken over in Nigeria, as a major source of income, not just to the government but to individual investors and joint bodies. It is therefore important to examine the exact limits to which one can develop these sensitive industries and know the implication of going beyond such limits.
In every research work, history will always have its place. History has made it clear that the damages that have been done by unguided location of filling station and gas stations, not just to nature but also to human lives and properties is enormous. For example the explosion of LPG that happened at Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan, due to indoor discharge of a residue in a cylinder at a LPG filling station, and the spread of fire caused due to the rupture of the cylinders(Japan National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health).Also cases of explosion of LPG whcich occurred at Lafia and Lagos of Nigeria due to mishandling and improper sitting and monitoring of gas stations, which claim lives, properties and left many injured(News Agency of Nigeria 2018). a case of gas explosion at It is therefore important to critically identify these implications to avert potential hazards of subsequent unguided siting of gas stations in Ogbomoso
The aim of this research is to investigate the spatial location characteristics of locating gas stations in Ogbomoso, with a view to suggestingmeasures to guide its spatial and locational attributes.
- examine spatial pattern and locational characteristics of retail gas shops in Ogbomoso.
- assess factors for location and operational procedures of retail gas shops in the study area.
- appraise the perceived impact of gas retail shops on the surrounding residents of the study area and suggest measures to forestall any associated negativities of the subject in the study area
Gas is a relative word to certain extent because filling stations are often referred to as gas stations on several occasions. Therefore, the scope of this research work covered only the retailed gas shops in Ogbomoso Township. Nonetheless, filling stations that sells cooking gas as part of their products were also be considered for survey.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Many of the gas station owners/managers were skeptical in providing the needed information on the questionnaire. Therefore, inadequate cooperation from the concerned association in making provision for comprehensive lists has led to the inability of the researcher to locate the already situated gas stations, as some outlets that were said to be available in some political wards were not found and some were not up to the stipulated no of gas outlet that were said to be available in some location. Thus in turn caused reduction in number of question that was supposed to be administered.
Ogbomoso city lies on latitude 8010’ North of the equator and longitude 4010’ East of the Greenwich Meridian within the derived Savannah region of Nigeria. By location, the city serves as the gateway to the northern part of Nigeria from the south. The city has Oyo town to its southwest, Ilorin to its North while Iwo and Ede lies to the southern and eastern side respectively. Ogbomoso is 80 kilometers drive from the northern part of Ibadan, about 230kilometers northeast of Lagos, about 48kilometres south of Ilorin (Kwara State Capital) and about 508kilometres of Abuja (Federal Capital Territory).