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The Problem and Prospects of Housing in Nigeria

The Problem and Prospects of Housing in Nigeria (A case Study of Asaba Delta State)

The importance of housing cannot be over emphasized. Unfortunately, one of the greatest problems facing the administrative / commercial city in Delta state is that a large number of people have migrated into the town and since this rapid increase is not been met by increase in new dwelling units, the existing units are over used, as a result of lack of foresight. Some areas in Asaba were not well planned to make room for future development and this has given rise to over crowding, inadequate housing and deteriorating condition of houses.

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The general inadequacy of housing in Asaba urban are revealed in shocking data obtained from some filed surveys. For example house occupancy ranging from 3-5 persons per room had been recorded for many parts of cable point, Ezenei avenue and Ibuse road areas.

In the case of Ezenei avenue, Ogbeilo Umuanaji quarters and Ezeugbome, an overall average of 5-6 persons per room was obtained in a survey of tenement houses.

These data reveals the seriousness of overcrowding in this area. in fact, due to unplanned reason, over crowding can be seen as a high ration of occupancy per dwelling unit. This is observed that high room occupancy raising form 3-5 persons per room makes uncomfortable over crowding for disorderliness.

However, no matter how one defines them, they pose serious problems in our urban areas.  Overcrowding has been described as a health hazard both physically and psychologically. Housing units are a treat to health safety. If they are physically inadequate and structurally unsound.

They are meant to shelter and when they fail to perform any of the above functions, they seize to be houses. Again, it has been observed that majority of inhabitant in Asaba live in discomfort house with over deteriorating neighbourhood. In any case, room occupancy ratio approach the staggering number of 6-7 person per room above the accepted standard of two persons per room.

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Basic amenities such as kitchen, toilet, bathroom, are often not available in spite of all above, house rents keep rising and these are commonly found in areas like Oghogonogo, and Ogbello quarters. The provision of amenities in the dwellings are generally inadequate in Asaba.

In addition, some parts of the city are flooded after heavy rainfall, and these adversely affects many streets including Ogboni junction, cable point, Obodoachele and in fact so many other streets in Asaba. Poor drainage facilities, and bad setting of certain housing project (eg certain portion of Obodo-shale especially college junction by Onitsha road and cable point junction) are some of the factors responsible in flooding in the town. The residents of the affected parts are always in danger with regards to their lives and properties, whenever there is a heavy rainfall.

Residential accommodation has been described as the second class of user in urban land. But in Asaba, most residential area are assuming small scale business due to the existing nature of Asaba and this poses a problem on residential houses.

In real sense, accommodation problem can be seen in three main sense;

1)      In the sense of an absolute shortage of accommodation.

2)      In the sense that the majority of dwelling units fail to satisfy certain minimum standards of safety sanitation and density.

3)      In the sense that there is a satisfactory house, but at a rent which adversely limits the family’s ability to afford other amenities of life.


Lack of maintenance has caused a great defect to private buildings put by private individuals, corporate bodies like share holders, charity organization etc. A glance around any of the major cities in the country will show that the up keep of private properties and their continued maintenance has not been given the desired attention either in the past or at present. Maintenance of most properties in Asaba takes place only the facilities is damaged and this usually is after occupiers of the buildings must have complained persistently for a long period.

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In Asaba, one can easily notice that most buildings have not been painted for a very long time. A building may be seen, which has stayed for over two or more decades without being repainted and the paint currently on it will be flaking off or would have completely flaked off. On entering most buildings, it was discovered that some of the doors have no handles or lock and that some of the windows have their louvers broken. In case of high rise buildings, it is doubtful if the foundation are strong enough to sustain them.

In most offices, the ceilings are warped or sagged entirely and often expose the roofing sheets. The toilets facilities are left in a poor state of dis-repair due to improper usage and poor installations while at the same time the necessary facilities for the proper functioning of those toilets are missing. Where water is available at all, it is noticeable on the floor due to burst pipes and broken sinks.

This is increasing nowadays, that property owners in urban centers do not maintain or seek the help of Estate firms for management of their property. In what interests then are the monthly rents paid by tenants if basic property maintenance needs are left to mercy of dilapidation? As these properties are left uncared for, the rate of deterioration increases with attendant fall in value which at the end may result in collapse, calming many lives and at the same time reducing the stock of property in the city.


Before securing land for any development purpose in an urban area, it is the duty of the town planning authority to map out an area of land that will be suitable for different types of development.

The influence of town planning control on property cannot be over-stressed. The power at the disposal of the town planning authority in creating land values decreasing them or shifting them form one area to another is very enormous for instance, a planning decision to gone a formally agricultural area unto residential gone or presidential area into industrial zone will increase the land values in such areas. Rezoning residential unto commercial will have a similar effect.

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The diversion of a major road in a shopping center will increase the values to the new road, whereas the value of properties adjoining the old road may fall.

With reference to Asaba, the city is not planned and as a result of this problem, the metropolis has what I may call overlapping; and usage at its highest order. This makes it impossible among the various properties or land uses in the city thereby aggravating the housing problems in the city.

But with effective town planning regulations, the areas for residential purpose will be kept for that purpose so also with industrial and commercial purpose.

With all these regulation, one can see that imposing a commercial property on residential land will be a difficult thing to do.

To purchase complete Project Material, Pay the sum of N3, 000 to our bank accounts below:



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