EXAMINE THE EFFECT OF THE 2012 HOUSING POLICY ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY TO THE LOW INCOME EARNERS

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ABSTRACT

The title of this work is As a result of the identified problems, the general objective of this study is to evaluate how 2012 housing policy was made in concrete term by the Federal Government and how it was implemented, especially in Imo State. To achieve this aim, the researcher has adopted the 2012 Housing policy and how and how it was implemented in Imo State and the specific objectives are to link Formulation and Implementation, to examine the roles played by the Legislature, the Executive and pressure groups and the mass media in policy formulation in Nigeria’s, to find out what led to the promulgation of the low-cost housing policy in Nigeria’s, to ascertain whether the implementation of this Federal Government Housing Policy improved the housing situation in Imo State, to find out the factors that militated against successful implementation of the Federal Government Housing Policy in Imo State, to highlight the lessons learnt from the 2012 Housing Policy in Imo State, to suggest measures for improving housing delivery in Nigeria with particular reference to Imo State. Data collected
from both secondary sources which renders to second-hand reports,
textbooks, journal periodicals etc. and primary sources which includes
interviews with top executives of the internal audit department of the
bank. The collection of data was also facilitated through administration
of question on department basis. The system gave the respondents
freedom to express their mind as to the question. The interviews and
administration of questionnaire was made possible by a visit to resident of Owerri, Imo State. The researcher intends to distribute (I35) one hundred and thirty-five questionnaire respondent. Data related to this research work were analyzed using percentage and simple statement as rejected to the information collected from respondents through research questionnaire delivered as represented in a tabular form. A parametric statistical testing tool Z-test is used to test the hypothesis about the difference between means of groups.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study
The right to adequate housing as clearly affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, is acknowledged in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), which enjoins the Nigerian State ‘that suitable and adequate shelter …are provided for all citizens.’ According to Le Houérou (2013), at least 3 billion people, or about 40 percent of the world’s population, are in need of basic housing infrastructure and related services, and the responsibility of meeting this need requires not only capital, but also more importantly a delivery mechanism that ensures appropriate targeting and non-distortion of the housing market. Hence, the government has a role in regulating this market since a well-functioning housing market requires a menu of both housing and housing finance products that increase the supply of housing to meet the demand for all income segments as well as a policy that focuses the government’s limited resources on the neediest population groups.
In India, for instance, The Ministry of Rural Development in partnership with United Nations Development Programme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G, or Housing for All) jumpstarted one of the world’s largest housing programme for the rural poor in January 2013 with the aim of building 30 million houses in the rural areas by 2022, implying five million houses annually. According to UNDP (2017), a primary component of the scheme has been the provision of beneficiary households with a wider range of choices tailored to local conditions in terms of housing designs, materials and construction technologies, thus enhancing user benefits and drastically reducing the environmental footprint of housing. This is against the background that the final estimated rural housing shortage was 43.12 million in 2012 and 43.67 million in 2017 (MoRD, 2011; Singh, Madhura and Ramachandran, 2013).
Nigeria, like most developing countries of the world, has had intractable challenges regarding housing provisions over time (Ibimilua and Ibitoye, 2015). Housing connotes the physical dwelling units which are themselves an integral part of the physical environment as well as the dynamic process of providing and improving them (Chenga, 1986; National Housing Department, 2016). It is also instructive to note that though housing shortages are intermittently experienced in urbanised parts of the world, the rural areas face aggravated difficulties (Chenga, 1986; Republic of South Africa, 1995; Muller and Job, 2006; Republic of Namibia, 2009; National Housing Federation, 2014; Holne, 2015; The Republic of Uganda, 2016).
Ibimilua and Ibitoye (2015) asserted that housing in Nigeria is affected by such problems as poverty, primitive environmental living conditions, discrimination against the use of indigenous materials, ineffective housing finance, inadequate financial instruments for mobilisation of funds, and high cost of building materials.
According to them, the bureaucracies in land acquisition, processing of certificate of occupancy (C. of O.) and approval of building plans also constitute a major part of the challenge. It is these scenarios, together with the paucity of community facilities and amenities, which result in a declining cycle of poor health, stagnation and wasted human energies in the rural settings (Abbass, 2012; Udoh, 2016).
Several studies have also buttressed this profound inadequacy in the housing situation of Nigeria particularly for the low income population (Olotuah, 2002; Olotuah and Aiyetan, 2006; Omole, 2010; James and Essien, 2012; Udoh, 2016). Infact, housing in the country has been found to be inadequate, indecent, substandard and lacking of basic services and infrastructure both from the qualitative and quantitative standpoint, thereby impacting upon the socio-economic, cultural and health life of the citizens (Olotuah and Aiyetan, 2006; Omole, 2010; Udoh, 2016).
In the same vein, rapid population growth of the country also compounds the problem of housing which is not growing at a rate near to that of the population (World Bank Group, 2017). According to the report, the rural population of Nigeria grew from a minimum value of 38,244,500 in 1960 to a maximum value of 95, 153,153, a growth rate of 1.04% annually, trudging on a total rural land area of 880,103 square kilometres and making up a whopping 52.224% of the country’s total population in 2015. It is therefore accurate to affirm that the rural areas are a key sector in Nigeria’s economy. This is keenly so because a sizeable majority of
a country’s population live therein, thus making the future of the nation to depend largely on it (Chenga, 1986; Nyagba, 2009; Ugwuanyi and Chukwuemeka, 2013; Abah, 2010).
Nevertheless, while urban housing in Nigeria has received significant attention from policymakers, politicians, public administrators, organizers of private sectors, non-governmental organizations and development partners, rural housing is still gravely left on the back burner (United Nations, 1978; Ezeah, 2005).
Wahab (2007) rightly observed that public attention regarding housing by the Federal Government of Nigeria from 1991 to 2006 and beyond was directed towards urban areas to the exclusion of rural communities – a clearly ironic course of prevailing realities which is holding sway despite the fact that various housing policies in the country to date have captured the need to have adequate housing developments in all domains. This study, therefore, is designed to review Nigeria’s Housing Policies to date in relation to the specific housing challenges facing its rural sector with a view to evolving a framework for addressing these issues under the National Housing Policy arrangement.

Housing means more than just a shelter; it is to be understood in the context of one’s immediate living environment, comprising the shelter itself and its surroundings. Besides providing protection from the elements of climate, housing provides privacy for relaxation and facilities, full development of family life etc. Housing signifies one of the most rudimentary human needs. As a unit of the environment, it has a reflective influence on the health efficiency, social behaviour, gratification and general welfare of the community (Onibokun, 1998). It is thus defined as buildings or other shelters in which people live, a dwelling and to a Nation, critical component in social and economic strata (Kabir and Bustani, 2010). Good housing is very necessary to welfare, survival and health of individuals. A study by UN (1996) reported in Aribigbola (2011) expressed growing concern over the deteriorating housing conditions in urban areas of developing nations. Based on these growing concerns, and to meet the numerous housing challenges especially in developing countries, the International community established the Habitat Agenda on housing in Istanbul to provide shelter for all, achieve sustainable human settlements as well as the recognition of primary responsibility for implementing the Habitat Agenda (Aribigbola, 2011).
In recent time, housing needs for low income earners has become a common way of summarizing the nature of housing problems globally. The gross mismatch between housing demand and housing supply in urban areas, especially in the developing countries of the world, tends to be the dominant issue in discussions of urban housing problems. In Nigeria, the growing level of industrial and commercial activities in the urban centres has contributed to continuous drift in shortage of residential accommodation, as the existing supply of housing could not match the increasing level of demand. The rate of homelessness and high cost of rent is also alarming. Most urban residents in Nigeria today are living in decrepit houses lacking basic amenities, poor sanitary conditions or running water, most urban areas are the worst for wear as far as infrastructure and housing are concerned, and this commonly is due to disreputable poor maintenance culture.
Continuous efforts to meet every set target have failed as housing insufficiency now stands at above 16 million units in Nigeria (Peterside, 2003).
Government’s drive toward housing for all as contained in the National Housing Policy, which aims to provide affordable housing for all, has so far not been achieved and no serious efforts are being made toward implementation as it continues to be an illusion and frustration to the larger population (Adejumo, 2008). The failure has been partly attributed to the lack of political will and poor implementation (Adejumo, 2008). From time to time, government often make continuous discrete policy and programme to address housing problems in Nigeria, but there seems to be no review mechanism that reports on the performance of these policies. Such review may necessitate re-appraisal for continuous improvement and lessons learned transferred to other areas. Port Harcourt is an important commercial centre in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Its strategic location in this region of Nigeria led to its population growth primarily through immigration from the surrounding rural areas. The rapid urbanization and industrialization growth in Port Harcourt results in shortage of housing and other related problems including associated infrastructure. This is recognized in both qualitative and quantitative terms as shortage of low income housing for low income group. The rising cost of available units made it increasingly difficult for low income households to maintain an acceptable standard of living in Owerri, Imo State fuelled by the lack of effective government policy to successfully drive the Nigerian housing sector. This study therefore, seeks to investigate the effect of government policy on the provision of housing for the low income earners in Owerri, Imo State.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Rapid urbanization due to high economic growth rate appears to generate a range of problems, usually of national significance for most developing countries like Nigeria. The recognition of this problems as well as strategies to cope with them has, in the case of some countries, led to the formation of a cluster of development policies which as a group form some sort of national urbanization policies. Nigeria currently seems to lack an established tradition on how to formulate housing policy under civilian dispensations. No serious study has been conducted to establish how housing policy was made during the First and Second Republics. This might be due to the high degree of political instability that has besieged the country since it achieved independence. For example, “between 1960-1985, Nigeria witnessed nine regimes; five of them were military regimes. Consequently, housing policy formulation had been dominated by the military and their political appointees. When the country witnessed the first military coup, elected civilians were carefully eliminated from public policy formulation, the exception being the short interlude of civilian regime during the Second Republic (1979-1983)”, (Haruna, 1987:31-32).
To own a comfortable home as a reward for hard work and self-sacrifice has long been “an unattainable goal for the majority of workers, particularly the low-income group and the peasants in the rural areas” (Gana, 1988:14). A review of past policies and programmes of both public and private sectors reveals that overall national housing delivery appears to be inadequate. Effective solution to housing delivery is yet to be found. This becomes more critical when viewed against the background of both urban and rural areas, where housing need is dominated by the poor and low-income group, who constitute an estimated 70% of the population. Nigeria appears to be in the throes of shelter crises. A large number of the population live in slums and squatter settlement while sizeable segment of both urban and rural population live in poor shelter, in unhealthy, ill-maintained houses. The situation is graphic enough.
A look at the housing Policy of Nigeria’s Second Republic reveals deep-rooted constraints. These include lack of sound leadership as well as competent personnel, inadequate mortgage institutions, duplication of responsibilities, lack of autonomy, acute housing shortage and lack of affordability, corruption, lack of due process mechanism, lack of easy access to land with infrastructure, high cost of building materials, high cost of funds for housing, lack of sustained research into raw materials used in the housing industry, weak enforcement of contracts, government laws and policies, uncontrolled population explosion and its resultant uncontrolled housing demands with illegal construction of shanties, economic recession , etc.
The urgency and necessity of this housing problems call for concern by all. The government is supposed “to harness the political, social and economic resources in
Nigeria to improve the standard of living of her people as enjoyed in the more advanced countries of Europe, Asia and America” (Hanson, 1990:76). The housing policies in Nigeria were supposed to have provided accommodation services to the masses at cheap and affordable prices, but from what is available or obtainable, or judging from the plethora of commentaries from many scholars, like Nwosu (1981:44), Abrams (1964), Riggs (1963:18), Dale (1941:46), Blitz (1956:82), Oyediran (1980), Marris (1970:19), it appears that this dream is not realizable.

1.3 Objective of the Study
As a result of the identified problems, the general objective of this study is to evaluate how 2012 housing policy was made in concrete term by the Federal Government and how it was implemented, especially in Imo State. To achieve this aim, the researcher has adopted the Housing Programme of Ahaji Shehu Shagari who was at the helm of affairs during this period (1979-1983) and how and how it was implemented in Imo State.
The specific objectives are:
1. To link Formulation and Implementation.
2. To examine the roles played by the Legislature, the Executive and pressure groups and the mass media in policy formulation in Nigeria’s.
3. To find out what led to the promulgation of the low-cost housing policy in Nigeria’s.
4. To ascertain whether the implementation of this Federal Government Housing Policy improved the housing situation in Imo State.
5. To find out the factors that militated against successful implementation of the Federal Government Housing Policy in Imo State.
6. To highlight the lessons learnt from the 2012 Housing Policy in Imo State.
7. To suggest measures for improving housing delivery in Nigeria with particular reference to Imo State.
1.4 Research Questions
Consequently, the questions that will guide this study are:
1. What is the link between formulation and Implementation?
2. What were the contributions of the Legislature, the Executive, the interest groups, the mass media and the people towards housing policy implementation?
3. What led to the promulgation of the low-cost housing policy during Nigeria’s?
4. Did the 2012 housing policy implementation improve the housing situation in Imo State?
5. What factors militated against housing policy implementation in Imo State?
6. What are the lessons learnt from the 2012 housing policy in Imo State?
7. What are the measures for improving housing delivery in Nigeria, with particular reference to Imo State?

1.65Significance of the Study
To the writer’s knowledge, the strategy of housing policy implementation in Nigeria during the Fourth Republic has remained a paradox both to the experts and laymen. This is because Nigeria has not established a stable political transition in spite of these almost five decades of existence. This situation was worsened not only by constant and interminable military coups, but also by lack of indigenous political culture and the short interlude of civilian democratic regimes in the country.
This study is significant because in the writer’s opinion it intends to highlight the roles of the Legislature, the Executive and the interest groups in policy making and may establish the fact that most studies on policy formulation and implementation concentrated on the advanced countries and only a very few in the developing nations.
Again, “those who have studied policy formulation in Nigeria have largely concentrated on the military regimes where there is no popular forum for interest articulation, interest aggregation and political communication”, (Igwe, 1988:17).
Theoretically, this study may not only extend the study of housing policy implementation in Nigeria, but also may advance the use and application of Group
Theory to the analysis of housing policy implementation in the developing countries. The study also hopes to sharpen the insight of African scholars to the unexplored areas in the field of housing policy studies in Africa and Nigeria in general and Imo State in particular.
On the social aspect, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, the study would contribute to the existing stock of knowledge and reveal to Government and the general public the extent the Fourth Republic accomplished the aims and objectives of its Housing Policy in Nigeria, especially in Imo State and its fundamental deficiencies. This will contribute in filling the inadequacies or gap in literature.
The study to the writer’s opinion may be useful to politicians in the subsequent Republics, policy makers, policy implementers, and the public policy experts in Nigerian Universities. It hopes to reveal to them how housing policy was made in the first and second Republics and this it is hoped would help them to device the best approach to the issue in the future. The study may also be useful to foreign embassies, multinational corporations and international organizations that are interested in National Housing Policy of the Second Republic.

1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this research work is centre on examine the effect of the 2012 housing policy on housing affordability to the low income earners in owerri, Imo state. Imo State is chosen because the researcher was aware of the objectives of the housing policy and partially observed its execution and implementation in Imo State. The result obtained from the research may not be exhaustive, but may give an insight into the extent this housing policy was implemented in Imo State.

1.7 Limitation of the Study
Expectedly, this work met with some hindrances during the stage of data collection. The issue of rent passing on a property (residential or commercial) is usually regarded as classified information, which is not easily disclosed to people particularly researchers. This was largely suspected to be the reason why some Estate surveyors, property owners, tenants, Estate firms, property companies and even Estate agents who were approached through oral interviews, discussions and visitations found it rather difficult to reveal essential information despite every explanation that the exercise is strictly for academic purposes, a good number of them, still nursed the fear that it may be for property rating and taxation purposes.
There was also the problem of logistics occasioned by the society. The researcher worked with a very light budget throughout the period of study as the frequent and repeated visits to relevant persons and offices entailed quite some money. Moreover, also recall that some of the interview respondents were not co-operative as they kept on playing to the gallery as a means of avoiding supplying the required information. On a general note however, the researcher ensured that these bottle – necks never affected the findings of this study since the success far outweighed the hindrances as enumerated.

1.8 Definition of Terms.
Housing: Housing, or more generally living spaces, refers to the construction and assigned usage of houses or buildings collectively, for the purpose of sheltering people — the planning or provision delivered by an authority, with related meanings.
Housing Policy: Housing policy refers to the actions of government, including legislation and program delivery, which have a direct or indirect impact on housing supply and availability, housing standards and urban planning.
Affordable Housing: Affordable housing is housing which is deemed affordable to those with a median household income or below as rated by the national government or a local government by a recognized housing affordability index.
Housing affordability index: refer as an index that rates housing affordability.

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