Challenges to Providing Affordable Housing in Nigeria
Housing is one of the most basic of human needs. Provision of houses through the creation of
mortgages is taken for granted in developed countries; however, it remains a major challenge in
developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
All governments in Nigeria since independence highlighted housing as a major priority.
Unfortunately for over 47 years of its independence, Nigeria is yet to develop a vibrant mortgage
market and houses continue to be provided through the tortuous traditional method of buying land
and building over some years, which could be an individual’s entire life time. In many cases such
buildings are left uncompleted or individuals have to deplete their entire life savings in order to
build a home.
One of the major housing policy initiatives was the Policy on Affordable Housing that was initiated
in 1979 by the Shehu Shagari Administration. The policy though laudable was unable to meet the
nation’s housing needs because it was based on the unsustainable tenet that houses will be
provided by government (this remains the anomaly that we must resolve). The implementation of
the 2002 housing policy reforms was a promising beginning, but a lot remains to be done.