THE IMPORTANCE OF NATIONAL HOUSING POLICY AS A PUBLIC POLICY (A CASE STUDY OF KOGI STATE PROPERTIES LIMITED)

THE IMPORTANCE OF NATIONAL HOUSING POLICY AS A PUBLIC POLICY (A CASE STUDY OF KOGI STATE PROPERTIES LIMITED)

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0     INTRODUCTION

          Adequate supply of housing is of paramount important owing to the comparative nature of housing in man’s survival. It has been argued that lack of housing qualitatively and greatly hamper the health, welfare and subsequently the productivity of man.

          There is a high magnitude of housing need in Nigeria which is evidence by the incidence of a large proportion of the populace living in substandard houses devoid of a minimum level of normative and structural quality, Japan (1983) studies have established an overwhelming evidence of the dwindling living condition of the majority of Nigerians particularly the urban poor percentage of whom resides slums because quality housing is prices beyond their economic means.

          The housing problem in Nigeria is more pronounced in the urban areas which have been growing in population without a corresponding growth in the number of housing units available for occupation, low and middle income earners constituting over 75% of urban workforce are the most affected.

          In view of the above, the government has set out several millions to look for ending solution to acute accommodation problems in the urban areas. This had metamorphosed into number of urban development policies. These problems are pointed out below:-

i.                   Federal/state law housing policy 1980: The manifestation of this policy is that housing of low cost nature were constructed in the various local government headquarters of the then 19 states.  According to the policy, the houses were to accommodate low income earners at the local government level.

ii.                 The national housing introduced in 1991, according to this policy it was presumed that very low income earners should have his house by the year 2002. But all these cannot be realized because of some problems, which shall be reviewed in the course of the study. Our areas of focus will be Kogi State Properties limited which will serve as our case study.

1.1             BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

          Challenges of National Housing interms of quantity and quality appear to be the same all over the world. The needy have less access to housing while the less need have greater chances of accessing housing. In Nigeria, housing is generally inadequate in the rural areas in terms of quality, while the major problems are more of quantity, although quality is also an issue. The shortage of housing is one of the factors responsible for the poor environmental quality across Nigeria. In 1991, the National Housing Policy was promulgated in order to proposed possible solutions to the housing problems in Nigeria. Twenty four years on, millions of Nigerians are still homeless while many others are living in incident houses.

          A policy is a deliberately system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational out comes. It is a statement of interest, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. A policy is therefore a guide line provided by the government which is aimed at meeting the people’s housing needs through a set of appropriate strategies, which involves fiscal institutional, legal and regulatory framework.

          Housing policy on the other hand may be defined as government action to achieve housing objectives. These objectives could include the improvement of the quality of the housing of dwellings or dealing with homelessness.

          The major thrust of housing policy is to achieve some housing goals which universally manifest as to adequately house everybody in any given country in a good housing located in the good environment and at affordable costs.

          Housing programmes and housing policies go in paripassue as one is dependent upon the other: Housing policy is to achieve housing goals which is realizable through housing programmes. Housing recognized worldwide as one of the basic necessities of life and a pre-requisite to survival of man.

          Given the importance of National Economy, the federal government of Nigeria set up a 15 man committee on urban development and housing in 2001.. One of the responsibilities of the committee was to articulate a new housing policy. The report of the committee as accepted by the federal government was published in government white paper on the report of the presidential committee on urban development and housing in the year 2002. This led to the new housing policy, which was subsequently published as a draft national housing policy January, 2004. The draft policy was subjected to critical comments and inputs across the different state of the federation and the new national housing policy published in the year 2006.

          This policy came up with some transitionary strategies for which government made significant effort in partial disengagement into housing provision and encourage privately developing housing under the policy adjustment such as the amortization period which was 25years under the previous policy was jacked up to 30 years, interest on NHF loans to FMJ’s were scale down from 5% to 4% while the lending rate to contribute was previous 9%. The new policy was aimed at removing the impediments to the realization of housing goal of the nation. The goal of the policy was to ensure that Nigerians own or have access to decent, safe and healthy housing and accommodation at affordable cost.However, the housing sectors is yet to weather the seemingly insurmountable storm that has plagued it for many years.

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS

          In looking at urbanization and its crises in our present society, we discovered that housing is one of the major problems in urban areas. In this study, our problematic area of study goes thus:-

i.                   Acute accommodation problem has been the major headaches in most state capitals, headquarters and established towns and cities in Nigeria today where peculiar attention will be paid to the Kogi state properties limited in relation to the national housing programme which is one of the public objectives of government of the federal republic of Nigeria.

ii.                 Most people find it difficult to build because of financial constraints.

iii.              The procedure coupled with the acquisition of land is cumbersome and money intensive.

iv.               There is no shop/kiosks within the metropolis to satisfy people’s business commodity.

v.                 House that are presently on ground are not safe because of erosion and flood that is seen to be rampant.

vi.               Some individuals who managed to acquire land at several strategicpositions of the state put structures of their choice without resort to town planners.

1.3     AIM OR PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

          The aim of this study is to trace the history of National Housing Policy in Nigeria with the view to identifying the problems and prospects. This study is to recognize the relevance of the National Housing Policy as a public policy established by the government to look into the affairs of acute accommodation problems in towns and cities to serve as a spring board for evaluation similar or some programme in other states of the federation. The study would deliberately focus on Kogi state properties limited and ascertain or otherwise achievement in housing need of Kogi state. IT would aid as our contribution to knowledge.

1.4     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

          This research is of great importance as it reveals the opportunity of knowing that policy formulation through which decision is carried out is a vital role of private and public parastatals in the Nigerian economy.Consequently to enable the National Housing enjoy the maximum and continued support of government. Public policy especially in seeing the achievement of KogiState properties limited. Also this will help the local government to use policy formulated for them by Kogi state properties limited on a viable project or business that will increase their working capital requirements.

1.5   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

          The study seeks to address housing development, its adaptation in Kogi State by Kogi State properties limited a housing delivery agent of the state government. More so, since Kogi state properties is under focus;the period of the study is between 1991-1999 a period of eight years since we would be able to analyze the activities of Kogi state properties in this area.

1.6     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

          The aim of this research is to have an insight in to the housing problems in Nigeria with particular reference to Kogi state properties limited. Therefore, the following hypothesis shall be treated to enable us draw conclusion.

i.                   Are you of the opinion that the national housing policy predicted on house for all (from the year 2000) by the year 2020 is a reality?

ii.                 Is the non realization of the goals of the policy traceable to the lack of government funding?

iii.              Is the constant political crisis in the country having any negative effect on National Housing Policy?

iv.               Is the land ownership system (land tenure system) having effect on the policy scheme implementation?

1.7     DEFINITION OF TERMS

          The topic under discussion is National Housing Policy as a Public Policy, for the purpose of clearing all the terms in the topic shall be discussed in details.

National: National can be seen as a large community of people sharing a common language living in a particular territory under government.

Housing: Housing can be defined as building where people live. It can also be define as shelter for population by Abraham Maslow.

Public: Public is something concerning people in general. In this case public interest is government interest.

Policy: This is the course of action that is chosen from among several alternatives by certain actors in response to certain problems,example, administrative policy into KogiState University, Anyigba,while public policy can be seen as whatever government chooses to do and not to do. It comprises totality of government’s action and inaction.



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