AN APPRAISAL OF THE NATIONAL HOUSING POLICY IN ATTAINING MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS TARGET 11
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Housing has universally been ranked as one of the basic needs of mankind after food. Housing at different epoch remains a strategic asset to man irrespective of his socio economic status, color or need. The passion or emotional attachment to housing in African cultural setting was underscored by Mandela 1994 “that one is not considered a man until he owns a house”. Little wonder that it is ranked next to food in the hierarchy of needs of man.
As important as housing is, its delivery since pre-independence era has continued to generate enormous problems in Nigeria despite all efforts of past and successive governments to address the plague. The demand for habitable housing and environment brought about the first organized agency “the Lagos executive development board” in Lagos Nigeria. The current mission statement of Federal loan Mortgage cooperation shows the importance of Housing and its usefulness which states “our mission is to tear down barriers, lower cost and increase the opportunities for home ownership and affordable rental housing for all Americans because having a safe place to call home strengthens family communities and the American nation as a whole”. It is worthy to note that housing and its environment is very important to the development of every nation. A safe place for housing is not just the building site but it consists of environmental sustainability, assess to safe drinking water, ventilation in the home, reduction in pollution, access to electricity etc.
Housing is a critical component in the social and economic fabric of all nation especially developing countries like Nigeria because our vulnerability to environmental degradation, poverty, epidemic, increase in slums, etc. Housing is about people’s lives; people’s homes and their local communities can influence health and well being community and family ties and access to wider communities/society. It then follows that decent housing has a positive effect on a person lifestyle and their life chances. Those living in decent houses are more likely to maintain good health, assess to education, health, community facilities and employment opportunities. Conversely, those who live in poor housing, particularly within deprived communities are less likely to achieve such benefits. Poor housing can cause or aggravate existing physical or mental ill health, poverty etc. Decent and appropriate housing supply, with appropriate community services and support is the cornerstone to a socially inclusive society (Stewart 2001). This is so because the environments we live in affect our health either positively or negatively. Many disease and sickness are caused by the problems faced in the environment such as malaria, cholera, diarrhea, etc. this are caused by environmental pollution, stagnant water, blocked drainage systems, wrong waste disposal etc. this are prevalent in slum areas where sanitation facilities are either absent or minimal. The cost of ill health is usually very high to the economy; this could be shown in the loss of man-power, low per capita, increase in dependency ratio, etc. The World Health Organization reckons that it is the home, not the clinic that is the key to a better health delivery system. Only about 25% to 30% of Nigerians, mainly top government officials and other rich and privileged people enjoy a decent quality of urban life. The vast majority of households, especially those in informal settlements, live in overcrowded conditions, within defective physical dwellings, sometimes located in areas which do not provide adequate defenses against disease and other health hazards. Nwaka: 2004
In the year 2000, United Nations member countries met and pledged to meet some set of goals by the year 2015 this is what is known as the United Nations millennium development goals. World leaders agreed upon a set of 8 ambitious goals which are aimed at eradicating poverty, achieving universal primary education, empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, fight AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and forge a new partnership for development.
Eduardo, 2005 states that government everywhere recognized that Millennium Development Goals is about people and human development and at stake are prospects of hundreds of millions of people to escape poverty, disease, and illiteracy and to live better lives. Also at stake are the word of world leaders and the commitment of government and international agencies to take direct action to improve the living condition of slum dwellers and to offer adequate solutions for the slums of tomorrow.
The seventh goal of the Millennium Development Goals is to ensure environmental sustainability through the following targets
• Integrate the principles of sustainable developments into countries policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources.
• Reduce by half the proportions of people without sustainable assess to safe drinking water.
• By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.
The eleventh target in the Millennium Development Goals which is by 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers has the following indicators:
i. Proportion of people with assess to improved sanitation
ii. Proportion of people with assess to secured tenure
The above along with the appraisal of Nigeria’s national housing policy is the main crux of this research work. How the national housing policy and its implementation affect the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in general and target 11 in particular and the present housing conditions of the people.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There have been various program and goals set by the government before in the housing sector, yet many Nigerian’s are still homeless. The 1991 housing policy which goal was housing for all by the year 2000 is yet to be achieved almost six years after. The proportion of the homeless is increasing gradually in the urban cites and the quality of houses is deteriorating in the rural and urban areas thus leading to increase in urban poverty, increase in squatter settlement and environmental degradation.
There is a need to achieve target 11 of the Millennium Development Goals at the appropriate time set. However the current housing situation in Nigeria as well as the housing policy and its implementations do not seem to be leading Nigeria in that direction. The present housing policy leaves the development and construction of housing to the private sector, which will do so for profit and this will lead to more expensive housing that the low income earner will not be able to afford. Thus we can say slums are increasing instead of decreasing therefore the lives of slum dwellers are yet to be improved.
Can this be attributed to the housing policy and its implementation, or the reduction in government role in housing? These are some of the questions this research work seeks to answer. The quality of life of urban dwellers may deteriorate and hence increase urban poverty and slum dwelling if appropriate and timely steps are not taken. A research conducted by UN HABITAT states that “ by 2050, six billion people- two third of humanity- will be living in towns and cities and as urban centers grow the locus of global poverty is moving into towns and cities especially into the burgeoning in formal settlements and slums of the developing world. The commitment of government in the provision of housing in Nigeria is needed; there is a need to adopt pro-poor policies and strategies that will obviate the need for further slum creation.
Thus this shows a problem of policy, its implementation, adoption of a more friendly land use decree and a review of the present situation and indicator of housing is needed to ensure change in the lives of hundred million slum dwellers.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to appraise the national housing policy 1991 and 2004; housing situation in Nigeria and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals target 11.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is important to the body of knowledge as it seeks to benefit researchers, economist, international bodies or agencies, policymakers, other students etc. for the following reasons
• It increases the knowledge of the people in the area of Millennium Development Goals, sustainable development and housing to ensure that everyone especially the urban poor know enough about the goals.
• This work will show the stage Nigeria is in and what has been done and what still needs to be done in the housing sector in attainment of target 11.
• Development economist will be able to have a reference in the future as this work will help amass data and finding that will be pivotal for future analysis on development Economics.
• The student researcher can also do further research on the topic.
• The policy makers will also benefit, as it will show areas where policies still need to be developed with respect to housing.
1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to appraise the federal government policy on housing if it is adequate in meeting Millennium Development Goals target 11. This objective can be specified as follows
• To identify housing conditions in Nigeria generally and Lagos in particular.
• To identify slum indicators set by the UN Habitat in meeting Millennium Development Goals.
• Appraise the 1991 and 2004 housing policy and the role of the federal government in housing delivery.
• Identify aspects of infrastructure that has to do with housing, which directly affects the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• How has the government fared in achieving housing policy goals?
• What is the level of awareness about government policy on housing and urban development?
• Does government housing policy facilitate easy access to housing facilities?
1.7 HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY
The government has been active in the attainment of housing policy goals.
Members of the public are aware of government housing policy.
Government housing policies facilitate easy access to housing facilities.
1.8 SOURCES OF DATA
The source of data is both primary and secondary. Primary data will be collected via survey method, which will consist of interviews and questionnaires.
Secondary data will be sourced from textbooks, federal office of statistics, newspapers, united nation’s reports, national planning commission, central bank of Nigeria, Internet unpublished works etc.
1.9 LIMITATION OF STUDY
The limitation of this study is in three folds. One financial constraints to carry out extensive research which will include extensive traveling to almost all 36 states of Nigeria, UN regional office in Kenya, etc Two, time constraints to carry out extensive research and also in meeting the required deadline for submission of project work, Three, dearth of necessary data.
1.10 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY
This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction where the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, significance of the study, research questions, research hypothesis, sources of data and scope of the study were discussed. This is closely followed by chapter two, where we reviewed relevant literature in the area of study, chapter three presented the research methodology while the data collected were analyzed in chapter four. Chapter five summaries and conclude the study.