Tiv settlement pattern as an impediment to development
The Tiv people of Benue valley by nature live in scattered settlements. Though Tiv being the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria but has not benefited in terms of infrastructural and other social amenities from the State and Federal Government.
The Yoruba’s and Hausa’s live in villages, towns and cities while the Igbos And other ethnic groups in the south east prefer the linear settlement pattern. It is a lot easier to provide social amenities like Schools, Water, Hospitals and Roads to populations that settle in clusters rather than scattered.
Another drawback to the Tiv settlement pattern is, commercial agriculture will be difficult to practice as those homesteads inter-spaced the landscape. There is therefore not large expanse of land to create large plantations. The land tenure system also does not help matters as individual families own the land.
There is therefore the need to bring reforms into Tiv settlement pattern to enable us develop and attract Federal and State Government in our communities. A Tiv community of 500 persons may be scattered across tens of square kilometers while a similar one in the south or north may live in just one or two square kilometers. It will cost a lot less to provide for a compact community of 500 persons with a borehole, clinic and electricity than for a scattered one. The time to effect this change is now.