Challenges Of Low Cost Housing Delivery In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Imo State)

Challenges Of Low Cost Housing Delivery In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Imo State)

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The world of building Industry is very wide and reaches which covers all areas like production, Building maintenance, project management, project monitoring and evaluation, facilities and viability studies and building surveying etc.  and there is room in its for every person who want to learn, experience and practices to see above all how to provide good shelter for the good of humanity and the occupants of that house. The field of building need builders who are experienced to carry out the duties, responsibilities and challenges of the profession and its vital role in the economy and growth of a nation to be able to produce building for sell or rent it to the people who needs them.  This project aim at providing fact and information for meaningful study and understanding of the myriads of factors that influence low-cost housing delivery which is the center point of the Second Republic housing policy in Nigeria.  In the design and methodology of this study primary and secondary data were sued.  This project surveys the low-cost housing delivery in the second housing policy of  Nigeria has fared, a case study of Imo State. Also what led to the promulgation of the low-cost housing policy during Nigeria’s Second Republic is another point of focus.



1.1 Background of the study

Public policy emerges from decision-making, which is the most deliberate aspect

of social conduct. Policy deals with a variety of sectored issues ranging from defence, health and agriculture to education, among others. One of its components is housing policy.

In the past, in Nigeria, the provision of housing has traditionally been the

responsibility of the private sector. Public housing has for a considerable period been limited to the provision of housing for the senior staff in the secluded area called Government Reservation Area (GRA), provision of barracks for soldiers, police and quarters for clerks usually called clerks quarter. Public involvement in housing became only noticeable in the late 1950.

Nigeria is a rapidly developing country with enormous need for the provision of

housing for the teeming populace. It is therefore not surprising to find in the world

today, that government in order to become popular and be acceptable among their

citizenry usually places as top priority housing development in their National

Development Plan. The United Nations Organisations “such as United Nation

Conference on Human Settlements (UNCHS) otherwise called Habitat 11 have over the years pursued a variety of programmes and policies aimed at resolving the issue of inadequacy and shortfall of housing stock” (Oyejide, 2001). The need for housing policy in Nigeria became an important issue only when the country achieved independence in 1960. An attempt will be made to understand the policy by studying various governments’ actions and public pronouncements on housing.

As governments and individuals struggle to improve the economic, educational

and social condition of their communities, households find the need to recondition their family affairs, and to readjust their living situations. These circumstances would under conditions of accelerating economic growth for all, dictate a steady pattern of shift either from the occupation of single rooms to flats or from older and dilapidated flats to more modern ones, or to even modern bungalows. It is perhaps in full recognition of this crucial role of the human habitat in individual and national development that part of the economic objectives under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, entrenched in Chapter II of the Nigerian Constitution required the State to direct its policy towards ensuring that suitable and adequate shelter is provided for ALL

citizens, (FMI, 1979:9).

The Federal Government, aware of the importance of housing, has encouraged

the establishment of Housing Authorities, Institutions and Agencies charged with the responsibility of housing the citizens of this nation. Such institutions and agencies set up by the Federal Government are “the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Environment, the Federal Housing Authority, the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, among others” (Bamai, 1988), The Housing Policy in Nigeria became necessary in order to provide housing accommodation affordable to the general public. It was formulated and enunciated in 1980 after a Ministry of Housing and Environment was set up and it was to accord priority for those in the low-income groups. An adequate understanding of the Housing Policy therefore depends on the prior mastery of the concept of policy itself.

Policy, characterized as instrument for the use of some form of centralized

planning which government protects its attributes is significant for development. It is a proposed course of action of a person, group or government within a given

environment, providing obstacles and opportunities which the policy was proposed to utilize and overcome in an effort to reach a goal or realize an objective or a purpose (Friedrich, 1963). It is the official actions or course of actions that are goal-oriented, taken with the aim of solving problems that led to its initiation, adoption and implementation. In the formulation of policy, all relevant information and recommendations are usually passed upwards, and even after a given policy has been promulgated, there should be a regular feedback of results to confirm that policy as being right or suggest a need for revised policy.

The second democratic experiment in Nigeria began on October 1,1979 as an

earlier experiment failed on January 15, 1966, following the seizure of power by the Army after five years of chaotic civil political administration. In September 1978, the military government lifted the ban on partisan politics imposed since August 31,1966. The pre-election resulted in the formation of five political parties, namely: the National Party of Nigeria (N.P.N.), the Unity Party of Nigeria (U.P.N.), the Nigeria People’s Party (N.P.P.), the Great Nigeria People’s Party (G.N.P.P.) and the People’s Redemption Party (P.R.P.). “The election resulted in the N.P.N. as the Fulani party winning an overall plurality of votes in nineteen (19) States. The U.P.N. as the Yoruba party came second, the N.P.P. as the Igbo party came third, the P.R.P. and the G.N.P.P. represented the Kanuri and Hausa parties respectively trailed behind” (Njoku, 2004).

It was on that note that Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria

assumed office on October 1, 1979 as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. This was a democratic regime. Powell Jnr listing the features of democracy states that “the legitimacy of the government rests on a claim to represent the desires of its citizens, that is, the claim of government’s obedience to its laws is based on the government’s assertion to do what the people want; and that citizens and leaders enjoy basic freedom of speech, press, assembly and organization” (Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences, (1829). The desire of the federal and state governments in Nigeria to “improve housing conditions and ownership is now well orchestrated by their public announcement. Provision of ‘shelter for all’ has also become a cardinal point of the NPN federal government” (Mohammed, 1980).

In April,1980, following the National Council on Housing and Environment Conference in Port Harcourt, the government of Shehu Shagari embarked on a ‘housing for all’ programme for the country.

All governments in Nigeria since independence highlighted housing as a major priority. Unfortunately for over 47 years of its independence, Nigeria is yet to develop a vibrant mortgage market and houses continue to be provided through the tortuous traditional method of buying land and building over some years, which could be an individual's entire life time. In many cases such buildings are left uncompleted or individuals have to deplete their entire life savings in order to

build a home.

One of the major housing policy initiatives was the Policy on Affordable Housing that was initiated in 1979 by the Shehu Shagari Administration. The policy though laudable was unable to meet the nation’s housing needs because it was based on the unsustainable tenet that houses will be provided by government (this remains the anomaly that we must resolve). The implementation of the 2002 housing policy reforms was a promising beginning, but a lot remains to be done.

In a recent news report on the Nigerian Housing Sector aired on African Independent Television (AIT), it was stated that between 1973 and 2006, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) built only 30,000 housing units nationwide. According to Mr. Tunde Ipinmosho of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), the current housing deficit is about 12 million homes. If we take the current population of 140 million Nigerians as reported by the National Population Commission after last year's census exercise and assume 30 percent of the population as working adults we have 42 million estimated working adults; assuming about 45 percent or 18.9 million of the working adults qualify for mortgage loans, and assume an average house final selling price at about Naira 2.8 million for a 2-bedroom flat, the possible size of the mortgage market is close to Naira 53 trillion.

Imo State, my case study, is one of the then nineteen States of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria, (see Appendices I and II – maps of Nigeria and Imo State).The  State was created when the former East Central State of Nigeria was split into Anambra and Imo State on 3rd February, 1976 by the Murtala/Obasanjo regime. It has a population density of 590 persons per square kilometer” (MOF, 2000). Its population at the end of 2006 National Census was 3.9 million. With the inception of the Second Republic in 1979, the Federal Government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari decided to construct low cost houses throughout the federation. According to the President, the goal of his administration in the area of housing was to, as much as possible, make sure that every Nigerian had access to a decent and affordable accommodation in a clean environment(Imo, 1985). The decision was borne out of the desire to provide affordable houses to low-income earners in various parts of the country.

In Imo State, the Federal Low-Cost Housing Scheme was located at Egbu and

Umuguma in Owerri Local Government and the eleven other Local Governments in Imo State (excluding nine local Governments that are now part of Abia State). Out of the 8,000 housing units slated for Imo State by the Shagari Administration, a total of seven hundred and eighty-one (781) houses were constructed. Those in the rural areas were one bedroom bungalows while those at Owerri – the capital of Imo State consisted essentially of three housing types – one-bedroom, two bedroom and three-bedroom, all semi-detached bungalows. “The Estate covered about 25 hectares and each house was designed to accommodate two families separated by a party wall “(Igbozuruike, 1988). A total of twelve contractors were employed to execute this housing programme while the Federal Ministry of Housing and Environment engaged the services of two firms of architects to supervise the project on its behalf. The form of tender adopted was ostensibly open tender but in reality, the contractors were awarded to members of the defunct National Party of Nigeria.

The low cost houses on completion were allocated by the Presidential Liaison

Officer in the State, on behalf of the Federal Government to the occupants not on rental but on owner-occupier basis. In the allocation exercise, “only the indigenes of Imo State and non-indigenes that have been resident in the State for at least three years were entitled to apply for the houses. This was on the condition that their annual income did not exceed N5000 (five thousand Naira)” (Igbozuruike, 2004).

The one-bedroom single family unit was sold for N6,000.00 (Six thousand

Naira) while the three-bedroom single family dwelling was sold for N15,000.00 (fifteen thousand Naira). This is against the sums of N6,077.68 and N14,714.14 which these two units cost the government to erect. The allotees were required to pay an initial deposit of ten percent of the cost of the houses and subsequent monthly installment payments for twenty years until the cost was defrayed. The occupants made these payments by cheque or cash to the government through the Federal Mortgage Bank, Owerri Branch. It was discovered that many of the allotees sublet their houses to tenants who paid them rent. The two-bedroom housing units which were abandoned but completed much later in the year 2003 were sold at N200,000.00.

Policy evaluation, as a functional activity, is as old as policy itself. Policy makers

and administrators have always made judgments concerning the worth or effects of

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