The new social housing scheme in Nigeria: How beneficial for the less privileged?
The Nigerian government recently inaugurated a Special Committee on National Social Housing Scheme (NSHS) with a presidential mandate to provide housing for its less privileged citizens. In the pilot phase of the scheme, the committee was to build 18,000 units of houses across the country before the end of 2006. The present initiative can be seen as a belated effort in the dying days of Obasanjo administration to offer alternative to previous low-cost housing schemes, which have failed to impact the housing situation of majority of Nigerian households. The effort of government to embark on a social housing scheme in favour of the less privileged Nigerians is a commendable exercise because it has started on a sound footing as usual with a near-perfect planning phase. But like everything “Nigerian”, the fear today is for an effective implementation and evaluation of the programme to make it work according to its stated goals. This paper takes a critical look at the past housing schemes for the less privileged group, providing an overview of their failure to respond to the housing needs of this group. While recognizing the imperative of social housing as government's responsibility, the paper stresses that not until some key areas or inputs in housing provision are adequately addressed and re-structured through direct government's policies of intervention, the scheme might end up the same way as those before it.
Global Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 6 (1) 2007: pp. 1-6