THE ROLE OF PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP IN HOUSING FINANCE, DELIVERY AND MAINTENANCE IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The housing sector plays a more critical role in a nation’s welfare than is always recognized, as it directly affects not only the citizenry, but also the performance of other sectors of the economy. Adequate housing provision has since the early 1970s consequently engaged the attention of most countries, especially the developing nations for a number of reasons. First, it is one of the three most important basic needs of mankind- the others being food and clothing. Secondly, housing is a very important durable consumer item, which impacts positively on productivity, as decent housing significantly increases worker’s health and wellbeing, and consequently growth. Thirdly, it is one of the indices for measuring the standard of living of people across societies (Sanusi, 2003).
Propelled by the patriotic quest of addressing Nigeria’s acute housing problem, the Federal Government came up with a National Policy on Housing and Urban Development in 2002. The policy has since then triggered milestone reforms in the nation’s housing industry aimed at repositioning it for efficient and effective housing delivery and maintenance. One of the means through which the policy is been achieved is on public-private partnership concept. The thrust of the policy is to raise the home ownership rate among Nigerians to a respectable level by moving the housing industry to sustainably deliver mass, decent and affordable housing with the active participation of the private sector-driven mortgage based housing delivery and maintenance system (Oduwaye, 2004). The policy believes that this will particularly address the housing problem of most Nigerian citizens.
The concept of private partnership in housing financing, delivery and maintenance system is predicated on the pooling together of resources from the various stakeholders, each party making inputs, thereby minimizing wastage and maximizing results achieved. Ikekpeazu (2004) stressed that the expediency of the increased adoption of the public-private partnership for housing financing and delivery in the present socio-economic circumstances of shortage of housing in Nigeria is now even more glaring than ever. With the increasing demand of the population on the national economy and the government’s propensity for enlarging the multi-sectorial allocations in terms of finance, it is becoming obvious that government alone can no longer provide adequate housing for all categories of her citizens particularly the low income earners.