On February 10, 2017 the Bureau of Public service Reform, BPSR, noted in its last updated report that immediate concern should be given to the housing shortage in Nigeria.
The bureau put the 100,000 houses built annually in the country by successive government as inadequate.
It added that it was time for stakeholders to join various government efforts in providing reasonably priced houses for the citizens, by taking advantage of the current Federal Integrated Staff Housing programme.
In a forum, the former Director General, Bureau of Public Services Reform, Doctor Joe Abah said providing housing for the population has become a challenge following the high increase in population.
Doctor Abah urged stakeholders to deal with the challenges in the country which include inadequate financial support to enable Nigerians secure their own homes.
According to the National Bureau of statics over 108 million Nigerians are technically homeless.
The Bureau which put the nation’s housing shortage at 18 million, described the situation as unhealthy for a developing country such as Nigeria.
The NBS added that historically, Mortgage financing has been expensive in Nigeria based on industry sources and the ratio of mortage loans to total GDP remained extremely low at 0.5% compared with 80% in the UK and 31% in South Africa.
Enugu State like every other state across the federation has its own housing challenges.
In Enugu State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on July 9, 2016, presented keys of 100 apartments to some civil servants in the State.
On February 28, 2017, the Federal Government inaugurated 91 units of 3 bedroom bungalows in Vivian Estate, Igbagwa Nike, in Enugu East local Government Area.
While on March 20, 2018 according to the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation, ESHDC, Governor Ugwuanyi pledged his commitment to affordable Housing.
To this end, what is the experience of citizens in the State concerning the housing issue?
Across section of the residents speak.
“To get a good house is hard except you are rich, the mortgage system has failed.”
I know that some people have lived up to 30-40 years paying rents in other people’s houses, if there is good mortgage system in Nigeria those houses would have been theirs, housing system in Nigeria is falling apart”.
In an interview, the former Managing Director, Enugu State Housing Development Corporation, Mr Uche Anioke said that Houses erected by the government were usually for the wealthy.
“When Chimaroke was Governor, plots of land at the GRA were allocated to people at less than a hundred thousand, when Sullivan became Governor the price went up and when Gburugburu came the price also increased it makes it impossible for any common man to have.”
“When we are talking about mass housing, is to map out a virgin area, put up the infrastructure; road, water, electricity and people could quietly over years pay for them”.
“There are Estates springing up in Enugu but they are for the rich and not for the poor, it is a duty Government owes its citizens to provide accommodation and ensure that they are low income houses”.
Mr Anioke urged government to embark on massive low income housing schemes.
Responding, the Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Mr Ogbuagu Anikwe noted that government was still in the business of providing accommodation and empowering people in the State.
“Government is doing a lot in the lives of the citizens, he was able to give farm inputs to 11,000 farmers, the 4,085 autonomous community in Enugu state have also received 5million naira each to embark on projects, most of these people on the street are not from Enugu state but since they are in the state, they become responsibility of the Government.”
The President General and Founder, Umuada-Igbo, Lolo Kate Ezeoffor who commended the State Governor for his contribution to humanity suggested government could erect dormitories for families and low income earners.
“Government should build dormitories for families and seek out their problems and means of empowering them so that they can better people in the society”.
Lolo Ezeoffor also called for non-governmental organizations to contribute in savaging the situation.