1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Few residential estates built across Nigeria by both federal and
state government has been able to meet the housing needs of many
Nigerians. Shelter is a basic necessities an esteemed need of man. It
used to be ranked second after food in the hierarchy of man’s needs but
according to Ebie (2009) it is the first and most important of all
rights. According to him, because of the importance attaching to
provision of housing and coupled with the fact that a proper housing
unit in all its ramifications is more than mere blocks of buildings
since it embraces all social services and utilities that go to make a
community or neighbourhood a livable environment, it is now a right.
Though inadequate, but the federal government of Nigeria and various
corporate organizations have invested in the building residential
estate for the purpose of profit making and meeting the housing needs
of Nigerians. Even though this provision is not actionable, it
reinforces the call for government at all levels to invest in massive
housing provision in Nigeria and this study is however examining the
role of Akwa Ibom State Government in the development of residential
estates in the state.
A residential housing estate is a group of homes
and other buildings built together as a single development. The exact
form may vary from country to country. Accordingly, a housing estate is
usually built by a single contractor, with only a few styles of house
or building design, so they tend to be uniform in appearance.
The desire for adequate and affordable housing
also has strong links to the need for security, safety and proper socio
- economic status of individuals and communities. In spite of this
widely acknowledged importance of housing and various efforts in making
adequate and affordable housing available to majority of people, a
large proportion of urban residents in less developed countries do not
have access to decent housing at affordable cost (Tipple, 2004; 2006;
UN-HABITAT, 2006; Greene and Rojas, 2008).
As a result, most urban residents in Developing
countries live in housing conditions that constitute an affront to human
dignity and which comes with appalling social, economic, spatial and
health implications (Coker et al., 2007; UNFPA, 2007). Hence,
inadequate housing condition has become an intractable challenge that
has continued to receive attention from governments and individuals in
many developing countries. Previous studies have shown that successive
administrations in Nigeria had launched a minimum of seven residential
housing programmes in the last few decades in a bid to address
increasing housing challenges in the country (Akinmoladun and Oluwoye,
2007; Ademiluyi and Raji, 2008) However, substantial literature on
public residential estate in developing countries has revealed three
main streams of criticism (Mukhija, 2004). First, it is argued that
most public residential schemes are inefficient and ill conceived, and
thus failed to meet the needs of target population (Rondinelli, 1990;
Mba, 1992). Second, direct government involvement in housing provision
is viewed as being negligible compared to the volume of residential
estates provided by informal private sector (UN-HABITAT, 2006). Finally,
government intervention in the housing market to check rising cost of
housing is seen as counter – productive and an impediment to smooth
operation of housing market and efficient housing delivery system.
Consequently, many scholars and stakeholders have
argued that government has no business in providing housing for
people, but rather government should act as a partner, enabler and
facilitator of housing process by making available appropriate
incentives, policy and good regulatory environment necessary for
effective private sector participation in building of residential
estate (Ebie, 2009). It is important to note that state governments
have not been able to contribute to the development of residential
housing schemes in Nigeria as most of the available residential estates
are built by the federal government. However, Akwa Ibom state
government has built 310 prime units mini estates at 10 per local
government in all the Local Government Areas mainly for local
government chieftains. Work is ongoing on the construction of 10,000
modern and affordable houses to the Akwa Ibom populace.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Ong and Lenard (2002) were of the opinion that provision of
residential estate should be collaborative effort between government
and private sector and this does not necessarily mean reduction in
government’s social responsibility in providing housing for the
citizens, but rather it implies the production of housing through
collaborative approach in an integrated manner. In the light of
foregoing criticisms coupled with the need for sustainable solution to
burgeoning housing challenges in most state in Nigeria including Akwa
Ibom state; it is important to ascertain the contribution of state
governments over the years on the provision of residential estate for
the citizens. The foregoing gory picture and deplorable condition of
housing in Nigeria applies with equal force to Akwa Ibom State if not
to a higher extent considering that more than 60% of the population live
in urban areas. Thus Akwa Ibom State also shares in this global
developmental reality; and one of the most important challenges facing
the state is how to ensure adequate and affordable housing to the poor
and low-income group. Unfortunately, despite all efforts of the state
government at achieving sustained housing delivery through provision of
residential estates to the common people, existing realities indicate
the goal is far from being achieved. It is against this background that
this study examines the role of Akwa Ibom state government in the
development of residential estates.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study
- To examine the role of Akwa Ibom state government in the development of residential estates.
- To analyze the perception of Nigerians on the provision of residential estates
- To identify the factor hindering the provision of residential estates in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the role of Akwa Ibom state government in the development of residential estates?
- What is the perception of Nigerians on the provision of residential estate?
- What are the factors hindering the provision of residential estates in Nigeria?
HO: Akwa Ibom State government has not provided adequate residential estates for the citizen
HA: Akwa Ibom State government has provided adequate residential estates for the citizen
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
A research on the role of State government in the development of
residential estate in Nigeria a case study of Akwa Ibom State is no
doubt an important one. This is going by the notion that the outcomes
of current strategies engaged by government in solving the problem of
providing adequate, affordable and sustainable housing in this State in
recent time are not known. Therefore, this study is important for
First, Bana (1991) and Emerole (2002) indicated that inadequate
capacity of public housing agencies to deliver housing was one of the
key challenges of public housing in Nigeria. This suggests that
understanding the organizational capacity and constraints of public
housing agencies to provide housing is necessary in judging their
performance. It can also help improve on their capacity and thus
enhancing the productivity of the public housing sub-sector. This study
is thus important on the basis that it attempts to provide basic
information that will enhance our knowledge of the organizational
capacity of selected key public housing agencies in study area. This is
also considered necessary in assessing the outcomes of public housing
provisions and making useful recommendations.
Second, Mukhija (2004) noted that there is little consensus on the
strategies and approaches governments should follow in addressing the
housing need of their citizens. This suggests that research works are
yet to focus attention on comparing outcomes of the various housing
delivery strategies used in public housing provisions to identify which
strategies work best and under what conditions. This situation
accounts for continuous engagement of inefficient and dysfunctional
housing delivery strategies, which Emerole (2002), Oladapo (2002) and
African Ministerial Council in Urban Development (2008) noted was
responsible for increasing housing supply deficit in Nigeria. By
investigating the outcomes of four housing delivery strategies used in
residential estate provisions in Akwa Ibom State.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the role of state government in the development of
residential estates is limited to the public housing schemes and
residential estates initiated and completed by the government of Akwa
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