THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN SOLVING HOUSING DEFICIT IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1  BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Housing, literally is defined as buildings or other shelters in which people live, a place to live, a dwelling and to nations a critical component in social and economic system. Housing represents one of the most basic human needs. To most groups housing means shelter but to others it means more as it serves as one of the best indicators of a person’s standard of living and his or her place in the society (Nubi, 2008). It is a priority for the attainment of living standard and it is important to both rural and urban areas. These attribute make demand for housing to know no bound as population growth and urbanization are increase very rapidly and the gap between housing need and supply becomes widen. This housing deficit has continued to accumulate over the years as a result of poor housing policy implementation by successive government in Nigeria. Cultural factors such as preferences and values or social status, taste and financial resources, also influence a house physical characteristics. In developing countries, poor housing delivery has been attributed to inadequate mechanisms and systems for land allocation, funding, mortgage institutions and infrastructure (Encarta, 2007). Nigeria is perhaps the fastest urbanizing country in the African continent. One of the most important challenges facing the country is the provision of affordable housing. As more and more Nigerians make towns and cities their homes, the resulting social, economic, environmental and political challenges need to be urgently addressed (Raji, 2008). A recent study of housing situation in Nigeria put existing housing stock at 23 per 1000 inhabitant. Housing deficit is put at 15 million houses (Mabogunje 2007) while N12 trillion will be required to finance the deficit. This is about 4 times the annual national budget of Nigeria (FHA, 2007). House prices and rents, on the other hand, have grown ahead of general inflation. Making matters worse, the composition of houses for sale and rent on the market has been inexorably shifting towards very expensive house (Nubi, 2008). Between 1975 and 1980, there were plans of deliver 202,000 housing units to the public but only 28,500 units, representing 14.1% was achieved. Also, out of 200,000 housing units planned to be delivered between 1981 and 1985, only 47,200 (23.6%) was constructed. Under the National Housing Fund (NHF) programme initiated in 1994, to produce 121,000 housing units, it was believed that less than 5% was achieved. In spite of a series of government policies towards housing delivery, there exists a gap between housing supply and demand. Research has shown that 75% of urban housing is situated in slum conditions (UNDN, 2005), and indeed the quality of the housing is poor and clearly an affront to human dignity (Agbola and Olatubara, 2003). As part of effort to increasing qualitative, affordable housing for the masses in the country, the Federal Government in 2004, pledged to adequately fund research pertaining to the manufacture and the use of local materials in the sector. Housing delivery in Nigeria is provided by either the Government or Private sector, but despite Federal Government access to factors of housing production, the country could at best expect 4.2% of the annual requirement. Substantial contribution is expected from other public and private sectors. The production of housing in Nigeria is primarily the function of the private market; approximately 90% of urban housing is produced by private developers. Due to housing demand created by rural- urban migration, which account for 65% of urban population growth, the fixed supply of urban land, and inflation of rental and housing ownership cost (Taylor, 2000). The problem of affordable housing has been a concern for both the government and individuals. Appreciating these problems, both public and private sector developers make effort through various activities to bridge the gap between housing supply and demand, but the cost of building materials, deficiency of housing finance arrangement, rigorous loan conditions from mortgage banks, government policies amongst other problems have affecting housing delivery significantly in Nigeria (Raji, 2008). However, the researcher is of the opinion that government still has much to do in terms of solving housing deficit in Nigeria.
1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of housing deficit in Nigeria has been a topic of discussion at different forum of the economy. The situation even becomes more serious and worrisome when one realizes the fact that despite a number of political, social, and religious initiatives taken in the past in Nigeria, a large proportion of the nation’s population still lives in sub-standard and poor. In Nigeria, housing provision by government commenced before political independence in 1960 and despite various government interventions and huge investments in housing provision, the housing problem in the country still remains intractable as many rural and urban populations in Nigeria do not have access to decent, safe and affordable housing. This is as a result of the government inability to provide adequate and affordable housing to the populace. However, the researcher seeks to examine the role of the federal government in solving housing deficit in Nigeria.
1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1.     To examine the role of the federal government in solving housing deficit in Nigeria.
2.     To ascertain the level of housing deficit in Nigeria.
3.     To identify the solution to the problems of housing deficit in Nigeria.  
1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.     What is the role of the federal government in solving housing deficit in Nigeria?
2.     What is the level of housing deficit in Nigeria?
3.     What is the solution to the problems of housing deficit in Nigeria?
1.5     HYPOTHESIS
HO: Government has not solved the problem of housing deficit in Nigeria.
HA: Government has solved the problem of housing deficit in Nigeria.
1.6     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study: The outcome of this study will educate the Nigerian populace on the contribution of government to solving housing deficit in Nigeria. It will also sensitize the policy makers and the government on the need to address the problem of housing deficit in Nigeria. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7     SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the role of the federal government in solving housing deficit in Nigeria will cover all the attempt made by both past and present government at addressing the problem of housing deficit in Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).  
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

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