Thursday, March 05, 2020

Nigeria's housing crisis

The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Ms. Leilani Farha, has expressed shock over inhumane and insufferable housing conditions in Nigeria in the 21st century. She noted that this was unacceptable particularly in an oil-producing country, showing relatively strong economic growth.
Farah estimated that the country currently has a deficit of 22 million housing units, a figure she said, was steadily rising as urban populations continued to increase at alarming rates. Farha said in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest urban area, about 70 percent of the total population lives in informal housing with the housing deficit at 2.5 million units, according to the state government. She also said in major centres such as Lagos  Abuja, Ibadan and Kano, housing demand is growing by about 20 percent each year.
 “Nigeria’s housing sector is in a complete crisis. There is no current national housing action plan or strategy. Coordination and communication between federal and state governments seems lacking...Private market housing is unaffordable for most, rental housing is scarce. It requires tenants to have one or two years’ rent in advance and there is no rent control or caps,” 
The BBC reports:
  • 196 millionpeople live in Nigeria (2018)
  • 95 millionpeople live in extreme poverty
  • 50%of urban population live in slums (2014)
  • 17 millionextra homes needed
Millions have been evicted from the country's slums over the past 20 years, often with very little notice and without being given alternative housing. According to Amnesty International, between 2000 and 2009, Nigerian authorities forcibly evicted over two million people. 
In February 2013, state authorities evicted at least 9,000 people from Badia East in central Lagos, to make way for a government building project. In September 2015, another 10,000 people were evicted from the area.
And earlier this year, an estimated 10,000 people were given an hour to pack up their things before being asked to leave the beachfront community of Tarkwa Bay, a popular weekend destination for Lagosians. Despite some public outrage on social media, many of their houses were soon demolished by the navy.

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