This study analysed the location of filling stations in Kano Metropolis against the physical planning standards set by Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) and Kano Urban Planning and Development Agency (KNUPDA).Namesand street addresses of the filling stations were obtained from the Department Petroleum Resource (DPR) Kano. Global positioning System Garmin 76X GPS was used to capture the locations of the filling stations. The Quickbird imagery, street map, and boundary map were obtained from the Kano State Ministry of Land and Physical planning and then imported to Arcmap environment of ArcGIS 10, integrated and georeferenced to the same coordinate system. The findings revealed that there are 214 filling stations located along the 43 roads in the study area, of which 69% are owned by independent marketers, 26% owned by Major Marketers and 5% owned by the NNPC. There is significant correlation between the number of filling stations and the road hierarchy. While Zaria, Maiduguri and Katsina roads (all major roads) have the highest number of filling stations, the access roads like Sabo Bakin Zuwo and Zungeru roads have highest densityof filling station per km. Petroleum Motor Sprit (PMS) is major products trade by the stations, the overall pattern of the location of the filling stationsin the area is clustered, and there is significant difference between the pattern and random pattern at both 95 and 99% level of significance. The major factors governing the location of filling stations are the traffic flow, exit site from the city and closeness to motorpark. Most of the filling stations satisfied the minimum requirement of 15 metres distance from the road (96%). Equally 98% of the filling stations met the minimum distance of 100 meter from the health care facilities. However many stations had not meet the criteria of 400 meter minimum distance to other stations where located on same road side and when not separated by any road or street. The research recommends that the regulatory agencies should take appropriate which ensure that filling stations operators comply with the standards.


  • Background to the Study

Maps are scales for measuring the property of location. Although maps may show objects with respect to attributes other than location, their principal purpose is to depict object in term of their location property. Location is seen as that property of objects which geographers consider central to their study and problems of understanding objects or phenomena which interest them (Lewis, 1977).

In geography the term location is used to identify a point or an area on the earth or elsewhere and this may be through the use ofabsolute or relative terms. Location is said to be relative when it is described in relation to other point or area.  An absolute location uses a specific pairing of latitude and longitude in a Cartesian coordinate grid (Abler, Adam and Gould (1971).

The increase of urban population and the growth of the number of cars and other vehicle generate various kinds of demands, one of which is fuel. Harrison (1999) noted that a considerable amount of cars fuel is wasted due to the long urban paths and unnecessary trips. Increase vehicles triggered increasing demands for fuel and by extension fuel station, since engines are made to use petroleum products and filling station are the places were fuel are sold.

Filling Station, Petrol station, gas station or petroleum outlet is defined as any land, building or equipment used for the sale or dispensing of petrol or oil for motor vehicles or incidental thereto and includes the whole of the land, building or equipment whether or not the use as a petrol station is the predominant use or is only  a part thereof.The American heritage dictionary of English Language (2011) defined filling station as a place where gasoline and oil are sold and facilities are available forrepairing or maintaining automobiles.Most filling stations sell petrol or diesel, some carry specialty fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas, hydrogen, biodiesel, kerosene, or butane while the rest add shops to their primary business (Ayodele, 2011).

Petroleum is no doubt a predominant source of Nigeria’s revenue and foreign exchange. It has occupied strategic importance in the Nigerian economy, accounting for as high as 78 percent of gross domestic product and up to 90 percent of the country‟s total annual revenue and foreign exchange earnings (National Bureau of Statistics, 2008).The petroleum industry in Nigeria is divided into two main segments, the upstream and the downstream sectors. The upstream refers to activities such as exploration, production and delivery to an export terminal of crude oil or gas. The downstream on the other hand encompasses activities like loading of crude oil at the terminal and its user especially transportation, supply trading, refining distribution and marketing of petroleum (Asada, n.d.). Activities of filling stations or petroleum outlets are part of the downstream sector.

According to Ehinomen and Adeleke (2012) the petroleum industry can be classified by type of actors or by sector. The actors in the Nigerian industry consist of both private and public organizations. The public actors are the government agents and functionaries such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA), among others. The private segment consists of both indigenous and foreign actors. The indigenous actor consist of independent marketers which numbered about 1000 in 1979, a year after formulating the act which established them but increased to 7948 in 2010 and they are competing with the foreign or multinational marketers (referred to as major marketers) like


Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc., MRS Nigeria Plc., Total Nigeria Plc., Conoil Plc., Oando Nigeria Plc. and African Petroleum Plc.

Selecting a better site for business enterprise is at mind of every government and entrepreneurs who invests their capital to earn profit. Some of the variables considered when selecting location for utility are proximity to population centers, distance from neighboring stations, the easements of using existing utility, and the magnitudes of environmental pollution parameters (Alesheikh and Golestani, 2011). Other factors to take into account when making a decision about the location of business, including customers, transport, the neighborhood, finances and the longer term future (Oetomo and Sesulihatien, 2012).

Bolen (1988) stated that every location in the earth has its analyzable advantages and disadvantages. According to him the factors can be classified into two physical conditions. These are the real physical and analysis physical. Real physical is a visible condition in relation to area such as land condition, the width, and the distance from the highway. Analysis physical, on the other hand, is physical condition obtained from physical analysis such as population analysis, neighborhood factor, and competitor analysis. Both factors are important while locating business; this  is because while the physical condition can affect the nature and type of business to be conducted, analysis physical can affect the business performance. For example, if the distance between one station and the other is too close, then it will lead to decreased turnover on each station (Oetomo and Sesulihatien, 2012).

This work focused on the location analysis of filling stations in Kano Metropolis, the second largest city in Nigeria and the commercial hub of northern part of the country. The study is triggered by the fact that a lot of filling stations in the area, and it seems there are problems as regard location and distributions of filling stations in the city. Some of the implications of improper location of the filling station are traffic congestion, fire risk, inconviniences, and so on. In the word of Christeller (1933) in Abler, Adams and Gould (1973), there is some ordering principles unrecognized that governs the distribution of things and phenomena. Only when proper investigation is made that one can explain what is where and why, a question that geography holds since the epoch of Eratosthenes, since the beginning of geography.

   Statement of the Research Problem


In all parts of the world cities are exposed to hazards such as traffic congestions, pollution, accidents, fire explosion and environmental problems. These problems are most common in developing nations like Nigeria where there is lack of coordinated planning for development and non-adherence to planning laws. These generally results to illegal conversion, leading to haphazard development and the deliberate location of land uses in unsuitable areas. As observed by Ayodele (2011),  in highly urbanized areas filling station is a significant contributor to traffic problems such as traffic congestion, pollution, fire and explosion. The extent of these problems depends on the criteria or variable such as location, size and set back from road e.t.c.some hazards, such as traffic congestion, pollution and many more problems result from un-coordinated development. Apart from these hazards, cities are also confronted with other problems like accidents, explosionand fire. Studies have been done on filling stations in urban areas.

One of the common features of Kano City, which is the second largest industrial centre and largest commercial state in Nigeria, is traffic hold up, which sometimes may be attributed to the long queues in the nearby filling station especially in the period of fuel scarcity. Also filling stations result to reduction in width of carriageway meant for the efficient movement of automobileand pedestrians; results to noice and air pollution and unpleasant odours in the neighbourhood. Filling stations are located anywhere along the city‟s road to the stage that one wonders whether there exist in place anyplanning standards to guide their establishment. It has been discovered in many instances when accident happened in the stations the neighborhoods are affected and these led to loss of life and properties.

Sule, Shebe, Bichi and Atiyon (2006) studied the spatial distribution of filling station in Kaduna Metropolis using ArcView GIS software. The results of the study showed that there are 193 filling stations in the area, and that indepent marketers dominate the business with 68% of the stations. Although the study aimed at inventory and showing the location of the filling stations, it did not show which stations is where or why, and did not examine the spatial pattern of the stations.

Ayodele (2011) examined the spatial distribution of filling stations in Kaduna North. The study identified the pattern and distribution problem in the area. The study found that there 22 filling stations in the area and the distribution is uneven as the stations are mostly concentrated along major roads. In addition the study looked at the set backs and locational situation of the stations and concluded that 69.5% did not conform to the standard. Though GIS was applied for mapping, it was not employed for measuring the standards conpliences. Similarly a study was carried out in Agege Local government Area of Lagos State by Abdullahi (2012). The study observed that filling stations are randomly distributed in the area. The study observed due to land shortage people build station wherever the land is available and this creates a pseudo development pattern.

Blamah, Vivan, Tagwi and Ezemokwe (2012) looked at the locational impact assessment of gasoline service stations along Abuja-Keffi road and environs in Karu,

Abuja, Nigeria. The study examine the location of petroleum filling station using Site Analysis Report (SAR) of the seventeen sampled (out fifty) station in the area, a questionnaire was also administered to solicit people‟s perception on the effects of the location of filling stations. The findings of the study revealed partiality and disregards of planning criteria in locating filling station, that about 82% of the stations have fallen short in meeting the standards of 450m distance in-between.

Kano is the most populated state in Nigeria (NPC, 2006), it has over 10million people out of which about 2-3million own different kind of vehicle which about 6- 7million use vehicle to their work place (NIAF, 2011). The movement of this vehicle is powered by gasoline. To be able to maintain this number and movement of vehicles a number of gasoline selling points are established. Some have met the guide lines or planning while others have not. The points established for seeling gasoline and other petroleum products whether officially or unofficially are called filling stations. It was found out and as confirmed by other studies that traditional patterns are clustered, random or scatter (Ahmad, Mohammed, Mohammed and Idris, 2013). To the best knowledge of the researcher none has analysed the location pattern of filling stations in Kano Metropolis nor compare their present locations to the physical planning standards, which is the gap this study intend to address. Moreso there is lack of spatial data for the filling station in the area, and no study has been done see the extent of compliance.

From the foregoing discussion this study setout to address the following questions:

  1. What is the number of filling stations in Kano Metropolis?
  2. What is nature and pattern of the location of the filling stations in Kano Metropolis?
  3. What are the factors governing the location of filling stations in Kano Metropolis?
  4. To what extent does the distribution of filling stations in the area comply with the physical planning standards set by DPR (2007) and Kano Urban Planning Development Agency, KNUPDA (2013)?

1.4 Research Hypothesis 

The study would test the following hypothesis:

Ho: there is no significant relationship between the distribution of filling station in Kano Metropolis and the physical planning standards set out by DPR (2007) and KNUPDA (2013).

  Aim and Objectives 

The aim of this study is to analyse the location of filling stations in Metropolitan Kano against the physical planning standards set by DPR and KNUPDA.

The specific objectives are to:

  1. take an inventory and map out the filling stations in the area
  2. determine the location pattern(s) of the filling stations in the area
  3. examine factors influencing the location of filling stations
  4. compare location  of  the   filling   stations with  the     physical planning standards set by DPR (2007) and KNUPDA (2013)

 Scope of the Study 

This research focuses on the location analysis of filling stations in Kano Metropolis, which consist of eight local governments (Dala, Fagge, Gwale, Kano Municipal, Kumbotso, Nasarawa, Tarauni and Ungogo). Location, distributions and patterns of the filling stations were determined by the study; and products sold by the filling stations have been examined. In addition the ownership of the filling stations was also identified by the study.The study also examined the factors influencing the location of filling stations in the area. Also the distance of the stations from the road, hospitals, and distance between station and its neighbors had been examined and compare with the standards of DPR and KNUPDA. The data were collected during the month of May 2014, thus the analysis were restricted to the stations existing at the time of study. However not all the physical planning standards were examine due to resource and other constraints.

Justification for the Study 

Petroleum has found a central place among the energy resource. There is little or no exaggeration when one suggests that the name petroleum has become synonymous with Nigerian economy, but its supply and distribution has always been an acid test for successive government in the country. Due to urbanization, increase in population and vehicles for carrying goods and services there is general increase in petroleum demand. Filling stations are built to meet these demands.

The report submitted by the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF) in 2012 outlined lack of adequate data record keeping, over reliance on manual method and inadequate data and IT infrastructure among industry players are the shortcomings of Nigeria‟s key agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources/ Department of Petroleum Resources that are vested with the mandate to produce Oil and Gas licence, keep and update records, supervise petroleum industry operations and ensure payment of rent and royalties. As reported by Ehinomen and Adeleke (2012), Eromosele (1997) observed that after almost half a century of oil exploration

in Nigeria, the oil industry is earning a mature status in comparison to other industries in the country such that significant progress has been made in terms of oil exploration and sale of crude oil abroad. Unfortunately, the domestic management of petroleum resources is fraught with a number of problems. There are occasional product shortages, inefficient product distribution and contending pump price of petrol.

Kano Metropolis is the second commercial and most populous city in Nigeria and the largest city North Niger. The city has high vehicular movement and many filling stations and that one may wonder whether planning standards are considered when siting such station. In some instance traffic hold-on and accidents are associated with the filling station location.Hence the need to investigate the location of the filling station against the planning standard set by the regulation agencies.

This study may therefore play a role in creating database of the filling stations, identifying pattern and proposing some solution to problem associated with location problems such as long queues and reducing the damages that may result from poor locations.