- The Nigerian government has been called upon to improve the housing availability of citizens across Nigeria
- Uzo Onwukwubiri identified key factors hampering affordable housing for Nigerians across the country
- According to Onwukwubiri, unavailability of data and its proper usage, as well as low income of households, is responsible for the housing deficit in Nigeria
The low income earned by key members of households in Nigeria has been identified as the major contributor to the housing deficit in the country.
With Nigeria estimated to have a population of about 200 million people, 30 per cent of the Nigerian population still struggle with quality shelter says, Uzo Onukwubiri, the managing director of Sow Real Estate says.
Onwukwubiri said the high number of Nigerians struggling to access decent housing implies that urgent attention should be placed on the country’s housing sector.
She said that this needs to be done to meet up with the housing needs of the inhabitants and residents across the country.
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In collaboration with Onwkwubiri's analogy, a United Nations appointed independent rights expert, Leilani Farha, after a 10-day visit to Nigeria had said that the country's homeless and vulnerable people are constantly being rounded up by the police.
According to Farha, the individuals when picked up by the police are persecuted and evicted amid a massive housing crisis in the country.
Further calling on the Nigerian government to put an end to the housing crisis, Farha said:
“Successive Governments have allowed economic inequality in Nigeria to reach extreme levels, a fact that is clearly evident in the housing sector."
Addressing housing deficit in Nigeria
Further speaking at the 10th anniversary of the organisation's establishment, attended by Legit.ng on Tuesday, March 15, Onwukwubiri said she was moved by the zeal to address some of the challenges of housing in Nigeria.
She noted that she has tirelessly worked up her sleeve to bring to light the housing dreams and desires of millions of Nigerians into an innovative reality while ensuring the maximum satisfaction of all.
Stressing on meeting goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goal of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, Onwukwubiri, said that one key issue affecting housing delivery in Nigeria is the level of housing shortage has not been adequately presented.
"This is as a result of inadequate and inappropriate statistics and data by the managers of housing in Nigeria."
"However, there have been attempts to estimate the magnitude of the housing shortage in Nigeria; the National Housing Policy specified in detail that to achieve the goal of providing 15 million housing units by the year 2022, a total of 1. 2 million housing units would have to be built each year."
She added that the above number is necessary to compensate for the housing shortage in the country.
"It is estimated that around 100,000 housing units are built each year, and an average of 80% of Nigerians live in informal housing, which is plagued by problems related to poor quality and inadequate infrastructure."
According to Onwukwubiri, although the exact reasons for the housing shortage vary across the country, the main problem in Nigeria is the low income of residents.
She noted that this has been problematic since privately constructed houses are expected to comply with official planning laws and other costs incurred during the construction of the house.
The housing and development expert admitted that huge resources including effort, time, materials and money have been devoted to planning the Nigerian environment at the national and sub-national levels.
"Nonetheless, the various challenges that have been, and are being addressed have hardly diminished.
In fact, the problems of housing shortages such as physical deterioration, poverty, inadequacies and inequality in the service delivery system have escalated."
"The incidence and growth of these problems seem to outpace the capacity of government to take them on. Nigerians are faced with the fact that their cities are in trouble and that there is an urgent need to do something that will ameliorate the emerging problems."
The need for all hands to be on deck in order to end housing deficit in Nigeria
Also, Linus Okoli while giving his keynote speech said everyone wants to build but not everyone is ready to put in all that it takes to build a strong and lasting structure.
"It is important to note that with the way things are going, our competition in Nigeria is no longer local but global.
"And if we must become relevant and that serious value-adding entity, we must do go the extra mile to create the sustainable impact that we so desire."
FG redeems house allocation promise to winners of 1994 African Cup of Nations
Interestingly, the footballers will decide where they want their own house in any state of the federation.
In Osun, the land where the houses were built was donated by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, when he was the state governor.
FG to spend N3.53trillion on infrastructure, human capital development in 2022
In a related development, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has revealed that the federal government will spend N3.53 trillion on infrastructure and human capital development in the year 2022.
She stated this during a town hall meeting organised by the ministry of information and culture in Abuja on Tuesday, February 22, and attended by a Legit.ng reporter.
The minister said Nigeria’s huge and growing population offered both an economic challenge and opportunity in the light of constrained revenue proceeds brought on by several multi-dimensional factors, including the global pandemic and its impact on the local economy.