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Housing deficit worsens as Nigeria’s population hits 197.4m

Nigeria’s population has continued to grow at an incredible rate over the years. But for some experts, the increase is not commensurate with the shelter needs of the people. Recently, United Nations estimated Nigeria’s population at 197,430,516 million people,that was as of October 29, 2018. 

Some experts have, however, argued that the population being brandished is equivalent to 2.57 per cent of the world population, making the country rank seventh in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.

Analytically, the population density of the country is 215 per km2 meaning 557 people per m2. This population is resting on a total land area of 910,770km2 (351,650sq miles). Out of the population above, 51 per cent is urban representing about 99,967,871 people as at August,  2018. In all, the median age in the country is 17.9 years.

Although, Nigeria’s population is surging, the housing deficits remain a challenge. The way to control population explosion could be very difficult and in majority of cases unattainable, but that is not the same with the control of housing deficits.

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The government of the day can stand up one morning and decides the way to stop housing deficits in the country.

It is just a matter of directing the Federal Ministry of Housing to develop a 1000 housing blocks of six flats each in every senatorial zones of each state.

It does also not stop at developing the blocks, the government can as well lease it out to the poor masses especially the low income earners who pay their taxes as a reward for being law abiding citizen.

If this is done, the government would have used one stone to kill two birds. First, the poor in the society would have gained the dividend of democracy thereby casting the administration’s name on marble for posterity to reward.

Second, there will be an attraction for those who are not paying their taxes to cue in and do the same.

A major advantage is that there will be a drastic reduction of housing deficits. Another side attraction is that the houses will be built with government specifications while government no-go areas spelt in the official government gazette will be avoided.

A fortnight ago, the Federal Government declared that it was working hard to come out with a policy that would limit the number of children that a mother could have in Nigeria.

This is because government could not manage the resources endowed the territory despite the avalanche of arable land available including human and natural resources at its beck and call. For not being able to explore and use all these available gifts of providence, shows the lack luster performance of government to the perils of its citizens.

Although, the government stated that traditional rulers and other leaders across the country were being engaged as regards this. It also added that the move was aimed at addressing one of the “great challenges” in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.

This could be regarded as poor man’s apology because one cannot be giving excuses of can’t help when he has every tool for the project at his beck and call.

The use of traditional rulers and or any other institution as suggested by the Minister cannot stop people from procreating otherwise, the government will indirectly be authorizing the traditional rulers to re- invent the primordial and primitive system of killing twins and other human kinds.

This, inevitably will attract the wrath of God who abhors shedding of blood no matter for any circumstances.
Even as the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this while responding to questions during a session at the 24th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, noted that the country’s population had been identified as one of the great challenges confronting the successful implementation of the ERGP, she is not aware that if one cannot manage what he has, if you give him another assignment, he will as well, not be able to manage it.

This is because it is the same brain that thinks out solutions to a particular problem that will be deployed to tackle another set  or sect of problems. So the summary of it all is that if you cannot walk well, you cannot run well.

So if you reduce Nigeria’s population by 30 per cent you will find out that the looters will have enough to loot and the scarcity remains.

Nigeria is not complaining of lack of resources, what the make up of the country is complaining about is acute poor management of the bountiful resources that cannot be seen elsewhere in the world. So, government should stop crying wolf when there is none.

The saying that one who fails to plan, plans to fail is very cardinal in this parlance because a situation where an individual has stored treasures for his fifth filial generation whereas a greater percentage of the population can barely eat twice daily, is a failure of government.

This should be redressed by strategic planning  by government or else, if government allows the up coming youths who feel that their future is threatened is allowed to take their own form of strategy, the guess of the public will be as good as that of this author. A stitch in time, they say saves nine.

There is therefore, no need to engage the traditional rulers and other leaders because that cannot be how to address the problem.

Growth in population is a constant variable so it is needless engaging those institutions because their actions will be counterproductive.

China’s population can triple Nigeria’s population yet Nigeria has been nicknamed the world headquarters of poverty.

This is despite the fact that four Nigerians fall within the first fifty richest individuals in the world aside those whose wealth have not been aggregated to know their worth.

It is even against the law of God to limit the number of children that a mother can have just for the purpose of sustaining Nigeria’s economic growth.

To be on the safe side, you pray for a reduction of population when it is not economically useful, but how do you find if somebody knows how to play ball if you have not given him ball to play?

Recently, the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano signed an agreement with Aldove Limited for the construction of 300 Housing Units worth $30 million dollars.

He said housing was an enabler in his administrative blue print and so every effort will be geared to make accommodation available to workers in the state.

 

He noted that the sector had received quality attention, attracting investments of about one billion dollars within two years of his administration.

The Nigerian real estate sector is growing fast and is now the sixth largest sector in the world economy. Yet, Nigeria still has a low homeownership rate of 25 percent, lower than that of Indonesia (84 percent), Kenya (73 percent), and South Africa (56 percent).

Home purchase and rent prices have grown ahead of general inflation, a standard three bedroom middle income apartment currently commands a rent of N300,000 per annum and a purchase price of N10 million.

The major issues that continue to affect housing in Nigeria include inadequate access to finance, slow administrative procedures, the high cost of land registration, and titling.

Source:  Maduka Nweke

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