By Dennnis Isong
Shelter which is housing is an indicator of being successful in Nigeria whether built or rented. However, a built one with your money is the height of success that appeals to people’s mentality. The shelter cannot be brushed aside as it is part of how we survive. As such, it’s a crucial and basic human need alongside food and clothing.
Housing is an important sector that must be given rapt attention as it typically improves the economic growth of a country.
However, Nigeria has been lagging in providing an affordable housing plan to a majority of Nigerians. It’s quite difficult for the middle class to afford to buy/build a house. However, they are still trying to do something. Unfortunately, it’s a hopeless journey for the lower class.
Nigeria, a highly-populated country in Africa with over 48% of its people living in the urban centres has less than 10% of available land areas to live in.
Yearly, about 4% of the population migrate to towns and cities to struggle for a better life. What does this mean? There’s a continual need for housing, I mean, where would these people call shelter?
The housing deficit in Nigeria has caused the available ones to skyrocket rent prices up to 60% of annual income, meanwhile, the United Nations recommended 20-30%.
However, this issue can be eradicated. Nigeria isn’t the only country suffering from this, developed countries are affected likewise.
WHY DO WE HAVE THESE PROBLEMS?
So many factors are responsible for the housing deficit in Nigeria.
Poverty is a disease eating up the country. People can either afford to do something or not. There is barely a middle ground. Affordability is relative. Houses considered affordable may be extremely expensive to some. It’s quite difficult coming to the middle ground in a country where poverty has eaten deep into.
2.Limited access to finance
Not everyone has the finance for housing in Nigeria. A vast population of Nigerians is just trying to make it work with their limited income. That’s why you see abandoned projects almost everywhere. Some people give it a try but end up losing interest when it becomes overwhelming and there’s no feasible way out in sight.
3.Overpopulation in urban centres caused by rural-urban migration
Especially in the urban centres, this might be hard to deal with considering the continuous increase in people migrating day in, and day out. In this kind of situation, the need for housing is paramount and no matter how many available houses are, it can’t be enough. I want to believe this is a good business for anyone interested in the real estate business and who has the money. You already have a field day.
4.High cost of building materials
Incessant inflation and the rise in the dollar keep affecting the cost of building materials. Quotations hardly work now because there’s always going to be an increase in the labour market.
This is quite discouraging, especially for Nigerians who are still trying to put together money from their income to consider housing projects.
Cement prices in Nigeria are also reportedly about 30-40% higher compared to neighbouring countries or the world market prices.
How then is it possible to have a great housing scheme in a country like Nigeria?
5.Inadequate or absence of infrastructural facilities
Infrastructural facilities such as electricity, water, good roads, and good drainage systems are heavily lacking or inadequate. This is not encouraging for the private sector to want to dive into housing provision.
Although, times are changing, most especially, in the urban centres. At least, there’s a level of infrastructural facilities there. Rural areas are so much at the receiving end because of this absolute lack of infrastructural facilities, so, whatever private sectors want to do stays within the urban areas.
With all these, if you are considering focusing on providing housing as your real estate business, then you have the floor. Nigeria is lacking in the aspect of housing development, meanwhile the population keeps rising each day.
The main agenda is urbanisation which has made thousands of people focus on towns and cities they believe can benefit them. This massive migration has put a stall on the availability of houses. So, it’s a great idea if you can get this on board.
There may be affordability problems, however, people are doing all they can to have a roof over their heads. Please note, that this is a business that requires a lot of money to get together.
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