Housing Sector At 62: Despite Govt’s Acclaimed Interventions, Many Nigerians Still Live In Slums – Expert


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• Over 200 Slum Settlements Identified In Lagos

The Director, Research and Innovation Office, University of Lagos, Prof. Timothy Nubi, has lamented the rising spate of informal settlements in the country, despite acclaimed efforts by the government to fill the nation’s housing gap.

The housing expert gave the revelation while speaking on the topic: ‘Housing Sector Watch: 62 years of Independence – How has the Nigeria housing industry fared?’, in a virtual interactive session organized by the Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), in commemoration of the Nation’s 62nd independence anniversary.

While reiterating that 70 percent of Nigerians are living below the poverty line, he said the figure is equivalent to the current housing deficit in the country.

According to him, a total of 240 slum settlements have been identified in Lagos, almost 300 percent increase from about 42 recorded in 1992.

Nubi noted that from all indications, the government doesn’t seem to be making any effort to house vulnerable citizens as the number of supply is on the decrease while the demand side exponentially increases.

Meanwhile, he stated that despite the challenges encountered in the sector over the years, there are major positives to embrace, especially as relating to the private sector’s contribution to the housing sector through the development of various low income and social housing models.

“How can we upscale and improve on these models? These are the things we are looking at. We must as a matter of urgency begin to prioritize policies and programmes towards bridging the identified gaps for access and recognition for the most vulnerable citizens, including people with disabilities, out of school children, internally displaced persons, as well as women and youths. We must begin to focus on these categories of people”, he added.

He said that housing development efforts must transcend the primate cities by promoting regional development, planning and intervention, thereby ensuring physical development, taking into consideration the spectrum of human and settlements from large to small cities, towns and villages.

“Most of the time, our solutions were primate city focused; like Lagos and Ibadan. It’s on record that less than 50 percent of Nigerians are living in these cities. Hence, we must begin to look into regional and national divides because Nigerians are also part of these settlements”, he noted.

He sued for a functional regulatory framework that encapsulates both social and economic rights of citizens, while establishing clear guidelines and facilitating programmes on housing and urban regeneration, towards initiating development across human settlements.

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