ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP IN HOUSING DELIVERY IN NIGERIA
Nigeria faces a tremendous shortfall in housing provision, especially in its urban areas. Consequently, Public – Private Partnership in housing provision has been adopted as a means of addressing this problem. Several previous studies have focused on the role of government agencies in the government – provider approach to housing, but adequate attention has not been given to the role of government agencies in public – private partnerships in housing. This work attempts to fill this gap in literature by examining the role of government agencies in public – private partnerships in housing. A study of thirteen (13) government agencies in six selected Nigerian cities with more emphasis on the Imo State Housing Corporation was undertaken. The findings indicate that though the agencies tended to focus on the provision of access to land and the regulatory frameworks for housing development, the majority of Nigerians have not benefited from this arrangement. The work recommends that government agencies should also be involved in providing basic amenities and subsidies to ensure that public – private partnership housing serves the interest of most Nigerians.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Housing has been universally recognized as one of the most essential necessities of human life and is a major economic asset in every nation. Adequate housing provides the foundation for stable communities and social inclusion (Oladapo, 2006). Gilbertson, et al (2008) observed that there is a significant association between housing conditions and physical and mental health of an individual. People’s right to shelter is thus a basic one and the provision of decent housing to all requiring them should be the hallmark of every civilized society and one of the criteria for gauging development.
Housing delivery is a highly contentious and politicized issue that is of great concern to administrators, scholars and the public in Nigeria.
In the last few decades, the influx of people into urban areas, the natural population increase and inadequate responses by the government have contributed to the worsening housing situation in this country, to the extent that economic development and the welfare of the citizens are adversely affected (Akinmoladun and Oluwoye, 2007; Ademiluyi and Raji, 2008). These problems have become more critical in the cities, where huge housing supply deficits, dilapidated housing conditions, high cost of housing as well as proliferation of slums and squatter settlements exist (Iyagba and Asunmo, 1997; Adedeyi, 2005; UN-HABITAT, 2006b; 2006d; Daramola, 2006).
As a result, a large majority of urban residents, particularly the low-income earners who constitute about 50% of Nigeria’s 140 million people (Oxford Police Management, 2004) are forced to live in conditions that constitute an affront to human dignity (Alkali, 2005; Coker, et al; 2007; UNFPA, 2007; Aribigbola, 2008).
However, the provision of adequate housing in Nigeria and other developing nations alike still remains one of the most intractable challenges facing human and national development. Previous attempts by all stakeholders, including government agencies, planners and developers to provide necessary recipe for solving the housing problem have yielded little or no success.