1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Housing (Shelter) is unarguably one of the basic necessities of man. It used to be ranked second after food in the hierarchy of man’s needs but according to Ebie (2009) it is the first and most important of all rights. According to him, because of the importance attached to housing and coupled with the fact that housing in all its ramifications is more than mere shelter, then, execution of public sector housing embraces all social services and utilities that go to make a community or neighbourhood a livable environment, this is now a right in Nigeria. This position is reinforced by section 16(1)(d) of 1999 constitution under the Fundamental Objectives of State Policy which compels the Nigerian State “to provide suitable and adequate shelter for all citizens” Even though this provision is not actionable, it reinforces the call for public sector driven mass housing provision in Nigeria. Housing being a right entails that all strata of a society including the less privileged members of the society, the old, the disadvantaged, the wondering psychotics should own or have access to decent, safe and sanitary housing accommodation at affordable disposal prices or rental with secure tenure.
Unfortunately the reverse is the case as in spite of the policies, institutions and regulations which various Nigerian Governments have put in place since independence; there is still dearth of housing for low income segment. A recent study of housing situation in Nigeria put existing housing stock at 23 per 1000 inhabitant. Housing deficit is put at 15 million housing units (Mabogunje, 2007) while 12 trillion naira will be required to finance the deficit. This is about 4 times the annual budget of Nigeria (FHA, 2007). Housing is of supreme importance to man and one of the best indicators of a person’s standard of living and his place in society. However, at no point has it been adequately supplied either quantitatively or qualitatively (Jiboye 2009; Omoniyi & Jiboye, 2011). Over time, the need for adequate shelter has continued to attract global attention especially in developing countries where the urbanization process has been growing at an alarming rate. The phenomenal rise in population, increase in number and size of most cities in the past decades have led to acute shortage of adequate dwelling units in many urban centres globally (Jiboye, 2009).
Consequently, in recent time, the issue of housing has formed part of the major discussion in several global summits such as the 1992 Rio-de Janeiro summit on environment and development, the 1996 Habitat summit at Istanbul, the 2000 New York, United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) summit, 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg and the 2005 La Havana, UN sustainable Cities Documentation of Experience Programme (Oladunjoye, 2005; UN-Habitat, 2007; UNDPI, 2008).
Nigeria, like other developing countries is saddled with uncontrollable growth of the urban population caused by lack of provision of infrastructural facilities and poor economic conditions in the rural areas. The proportion of the Nigerian population living in urban centres has increased phenomenally from 7% in the 1930s, 10% in 1950, 20% in 1970, 27% in 1980 to 35% in 1990
(Okupe, 2002). Over 40% of Nigerians now live in urban centres of varying sizes. The incidence of this population in urban centres has created severe housing problems, resulting in overcrowding in inadequate dwellings, and in a situation in which 60% of Nigerians can be said to be “houseless persons” (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004).
Besides the incidence of overcrowding in the existing housing stock, rural-urban drift has occasioned the sprouting of make shift dwellings or squatter settlements in cities that are devoid of minimum structural and normative quality. Majority of the houses are constructed with all sorts of refuse/second-hand materials in illegally occupied self allocated land, they are badly maintained and lack the basic necessities of life like sanitary facilities, light, air and privacy. As evidenced by past researches in housing studies, most urban centres in the country are characterized by high density buildings, acute sanitary problems, pollution of air, surface water, noise and solid wastes (Filani, 1987, Agbola, 1998). According to Olotuah (2002) estimated 2.3 million urban dwelling units are substandard, only 33% of urban houses can be considered to be physically sound, and 44% and 19% require minor and major repairs respectively to bring them to normative and structural quality. Despite all efforts of the government at achieving sustained housing delivery to the common people, existing realities indicate the goal is far from being achieved. It is against this background that this research examines the major issues and challenges of execution of public sector housing in Nigeria with a view to stimulating relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders into designing appropriate strategies for effective execution of public sector housing in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In many developing countries, including Nigeria, urban housing crisis is escalating unabated despite a number of new policies, programs and strategies being engaged in by public and private sectors aimed at execution of public sector housing in addressing this problem (Okupe, 2002). Since execution of public sector housing is principally carried out by government agencies and their collaborators, the researcher argues that one vital step to addressing myriads of issues and challenges in execution of public sector housing in Nigeria is to identify areas of weakness in public housing agencies and subsequently address such weakness for enhanced productivity (Jiboye, 2009). It is for this reason that the study investigated the contextual and organizational challenges related to execution of public sector housing in Nigeria in the post independence era.
This study attempted at using key organizational components to assess areas of challenges in execution of public sector housing among government agencies in the study area. This is with a view to assisting public-sector housing policy makers and program managers chart future pathways for improved performance in public housing provision and management in Nigeria.