Shelter is one of the basic necessities of man because it protection him from the ravages of nature and to some extent from crime.
Most of all it is where he calls a home.
Sadly enough shelter seems to be a scarce commodity not because they are unavailable but because they are not affordable.
Everyday houses sprout like corns in cities yet, many people live in slums and sometimes in places fit only for animals.
Though many estates have been developed, the teeming work force live miles away in suburbs. Why is this so?
‘‘A flat in Onitsha is about six thousand but here in Enugu, a flat is going twenty-five thousand coupled with agency and lawyers fee, most people live miles away from their office, they have to look for where it is cheaper for them, government can create money to build houses for civil servants, even if they are building the house, those big men will like to acquire the houses they built for the poor masses and then the income, and again the tradition in this part of the country, the first place to build house is to go to the village’’.
The respondents called on the state government to build more houses that would be affordable to workers and see that the houses are occupied by the actual work force.
An estate developer, Mr. Bob Enenchukwu blames the housing deficit on the cost of building materials, interest rates in banks among other things.
‘‘Government might decide to build hundred housing units, at the end the cost of selling it they might place it so high that ordinary civil servants cannot be able to pay. The high income earners in the society especially politicians might go and buy-off the whole houses and begin to resell’’.
What is the state government doing to address the problem? The Enugu state Commissioner for Housing, Chief Charles Asogwa says some low cost houses are under construction.
‘‘Presently, we have two workers estate, Ibeagwa nike workers estate ongoing, fifty something buildings on ground. His Excellency gave out one hundred units of flats to government workers from level one to ten, it was an open ballot system’’.
The Commissioners advised all workers to ensure they join the National Housing Scheme of the Federal Mortgage bank to be eligible for these houses.
What about getting land? Some communities on investigation sell lands at very reasonable cost but the process of buying and changing of ownership becomes the scare says a property lawyer, Mr. Johnson. Okegbe.
‘‘Most times people want to sell this land, they do not accept staggered payment, so they want it in bulk, so you are expected to help yourself in so many other payments, charges payable to the agents involved in getting these properties for you, charges charged by lawyers, we go to the land registry, to conduct searches, charges of perfecting these documents, this charges are quite high, and you are still expected to pay another ten percent of the value of that property and another ten percent of the capital and the lawyer who will conduct the search, who will draft the instruments of transfer or the deed of assignment and the power of attorney, will still charge you money, so these things are quite expensive’’.
While workers look up to the governments to alleviate their need for shelter, leaders of workers in different government agencies could complement government efforts by coming up with programme that would provide house for their members.