ROLE OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF RESIDENTIAL ESTATES IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNMENT
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 aer
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 adorable 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 sorts in making adequate and adorable housing available to majority of people, a large proportion of urban residents in less developed countries do not have access to decent housing at adorable
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 front 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).