IMPACT OF SLUM ON VALUE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Slums are home to the poorest of urban populations in Africa. The houses inhabited by slum dwellers are mostly decrepit, overcrowded, in neighborhoods that are prone to flooding and beset with poor sanitation and shortage of potable water. Slums are easily formed in areas experiencing rapid urbanization without commensurate increase in the provision and maintenance of housing and infrastructure. Slums have been conceptualized as a group of buildings or an area characterized by overcrowding, deterioration, insanitary conditions, or absence of basic and essential facilities like potable water, drainage system, schools, health facilities, recreational grounds, post office, among others. Slums generate spontaneously and are in some cases, a direct result of the prevalence of poverty experienced by the inhabitants of cities (Olotuah, 2006). Slums, which are regarded as an element of urban decay, also result from congestion in overcrowded cities where poor immigrants seek to settle for just any available accommodation irrespective of quality. The overwhelming negatives notwithstanding, there are some positive aspects to slums. In recent years, some environmentalists and organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund suggested that despite the poor living conditions, slums are positive both environmentally and socially. Because slums are characterized by very high density of housing, its environmental impact is smaller than that of dispersed rural communities. Furthermore, the fertility rate of new slum dwellers is below the replacement rate; this mitigates dangers associated with overpopulation that results from manpower-intensive subsistence agriculture, and frees up arable land for the nature, or more efficient industrialized agriculture. Slum dwellers also appear to have vastly better opportunities for getting jobs, starting small businesses and climbing out of poverty than rural inhabitants (Akinyode, 1998). Nigeria is ranked as one of the countries with high slum prevalence. The proliferation of shanty dwellings, squatter settlements and slums in most of our cities in Nigeria including the cross rivers state which is the being focused on in this study. However, it has been asserted that the presence of slum increase the rate of crime in the area thereby affecting the value of the residential property (Omole, 2010).