HousingPost Comment Housing Nigeria
Many households in Nigeria lack basic ameni ties such as electricity, water and toilet facilities. By 1994, only about 35.5 per cent of all households in the country had access to public electricity.
However, by 1997, about 59 per cent had no access to any form of electricity. The situation in rural areas is even worse, with up to 81 per cent lacking access to any form of electricity, whereas about 80 per cent of the urban households had access to electricity.
Some 24.74 per cent of all households in Nigeria had access to pipe-borne water in 1997 while about 15.41 per cent had access to bore holes; 27.62 per cent had access to wells and 32.23 per cent had access only to streams and ponds.
About 36 per cent of rural households depended on streams for water, whereas over 68 per cent of urban households had access to pipe borne water. For the semi-urbaones, about 39.32 per cent had access to pipe-borne water whereas less than 10 per cent of rural households did have.
Concerning the hygienic situation of houses in Nigeria, with regard to toilet facilities, in 1997, about 10.30 per cent of all households in the country had access to modern water closet toilets. Others depended on pit laterines and bush/dung hills. In the rural areas, only 2 per cent of the households had access to water closet toilets whereas in the urban centres, the rate was about 14 per cent.
Bush/dung hill provides toilet sites for as high as 52 per cent of the households in rural areas. Pit later ines are used by 74 per cent of urban households, 72 per cent of semi-urban households, and 42 per cent of rural households in Nigeria.
Nigeria has not lacked housing policies. The policies had been stated in the 1946 ten-year devel opment plan, as well as in the First, Second, Third and Fourth national development plans of 1962 68, 1970 to 74, 1975 to 80 and 1981 to 85. They have all aimed at providing housing for the middle-class only.
Housing loans were administered under the Nigerian Building Society in the 1960s and, since the late 1970s, by the Federal Mortgage Bank. The Urban Development Bank was established in the early 1990's, specifically for large- scale develop ment of housing infrastructure within the country's major urban centres, such as Abuja and the State capitals. All these bodies failed apparently due to lack of serious supervision and monitoring mecha nisms and generally prohibitive interest rates espe cially since the late 1980s.
Housing problems have thus not only remained largely unsolved, but have even become much worse. Rising costs of building materials, such as cement, iron pipes and rods, roofing sheets, and water closet basins, have continued to soar. The situation calls for government prompt and positive intervention.
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