In a country with a housing deficit of more than 17 million units, housing delivery in Nigeria is not just unsatisfactory, it is really poor. What are the bottlenecks that continue to debase housing delivery in Nigeria? This article sheds more light on the challenges of housing delivery in Nigeria.
Housing delivery in Nigeria is highly suspect but the situation is not peculiar to the country alone, it is a global phenomenon. There is no doubt that Housing delivery in any part of the world can never be entirely satisfactory; however, when it becomes poor and totally unsatisfactory then the situation calls for a round table discussion as a matter of urgency.
Housing is one of the three basic needs of mankind and it is the most important for the physical survival of man after the provision of food. Adequate housing contributes to the attainment of physical and moral health of a nation and stimulates the social stability, the work efficiency and the development of the individuals. It is also one of the best indicators of a person’s standard of living and of his place in the society.
Housing, both in units or multiple forms is a significant component of the physical form and structure of a community, while the human and family contents of the house is part of the very spirit of life and prosperity of the society.
The problem of housing delivery in Nigeria is primarily that of a crisis situation, manifesting and expressing itself in quantitative and qualitative forms. Lack of comfort and rudimentary infrastructure, congestion, unhygienic conditions, high densities and absence of organization make for ghastly experiences shared by the vast majority of the urban population.
The discussion and debates on the Nigerian housing situation have always been anchored on the need for continuous state intervention through public housing provision in solving the crisis. Public housing provision is not only a social and environmental necessity but also a political and economic approach necessary to support social peace and stable development in the nations of the world.
Over time, there have being immense anxieties over the alarming nature and dimensions of the housing problems in the nations of the developing world.
Highly recognized among the most crucial effects of unplanned and dependant urbanisation is the urban housing crisis spreading through the primary and large regional secondary cities of the fast and medium developing categories of the third world nations (Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Cairo, New Delhi, Karachi etc.).
This crisis situation in its unified form has surpassed the terrains of the social sphere, reproducing itself in the economic, political and environmental processes of these nations of the third world, Nigeria not an exemption.
Housing problem has been generally accepted as being diverse and complex. The major housing problem in Nigeria is that of instability of human needs for housing. This problem is worldwide and it is of a recurring nature. In fact it is doubtful if any nation of the world can satisfactorily meet its housing requirements.
In Nigeria, most people live in poor quality housing and in unsanitary environments. This problem of inadequate housing has been compounded by the rapid rates of urbanization and economic growth. Housing difficulty is more serious for the low income groups where problems have been complicated by rapid growth, inflated real estate values, influx of poor immigrants and lack of planning.
Housing delivery in Nigeria has for long been seen as a government concern and the Federal Government has tried in different ways to tackle the nation’s housing problems. The fussion of government activities reveals that during the past few years, a series of constructive programme and far reaching actions were taken by the government to combat the housing problem. However, it is a fact that the housing problem is far from being solved, and this can be attributed to flaws in the strategies adopted by the government and pace of construction of government projects.
Apart from the fact that the Housing Ministry was faced by many constraints in the past, which affected its performance level, the houses built were usually very expensive which puts them beyond the reach of the low income group.
Another challenge is the adopted practice and system of granting loans which makes it difficult for the really low income people to benefit. The bulk of the mortgage loans go to family in the upper class, making it necessary to re-examine the loan policy of the country.
Also, another bottleneck is the problem of corruption in high quarters which is like a malignant growth that has eaten deep into every sector of the country with reckless abandon leaving the masses at its mercy.
In summary, one may conclude that lack of financial prudence, public probity and accountability, inefficient and ineffective administrative machinery, mass importation of foreign technology, material, personnel and inflation, as well as incomprehensive analysis of the nation’s housing requirement have being responsible for poor housing delivery.
What in your opinion can be done to mitigate the challenges of housing delivery in Nigeria? We would love to hear from you.