Cover Image
close this book National trends in housing-production practices
View the document Foreword
View the document List of acronyms
close this folder 1. Changing shelter policies in Nigeria
View the document A. Changing objectives in the shelter sector
View the document B. The current shelter policy and its links with the overall economy
View the document C. Objectives of the National Housing Policy
View the document D. Legal and regulatory framework for shelter delivery
View the document E. Mobilization and allocation of financial resources
View the document F. Shelter production and improvement
View the document G. Scope and scale of the shelter problem
close this folder II. Housing supply at the national level
View the document A. Actors in the shelter- delivery process
View the document B. Housing finance
View the document C. Housing production
close this folder III. Lagos metropolitan area (LMA)
View the document A. Scope and scale of the shelter problem
View the document B. Actors in the shelter- delivery process
View the document C. Housing production
close this folder IV. Adoption of enabling shelter strategies and alleviation of the housing problem in Nigeria
View the document A. Obstacles to an effective housing supply
View the document B. Shelter programmes and activities and the low- income groups
View the document C. Conclusions and recommendations
View the document Bibliography

G. Scope and scale of the shelter problem

1. Housing stock

No official census of the housing stock has ever been made in Nigeria. Yet this section attempts to arrive at a reasonable estimate, based on the total population figures, the average household size and a plausible assumption of the level of shortage in the housing markets, i.e., 25 per cent in urban areas.


Table 6. Provisional population, Nigeria, by state (1991)

Table 7. Estimated household population, Nigeria (1991)

 

Urban

Rural

Total

Population

21597

66916962

88514500

Average household size

4.8

5.6

5.4

Number of households

4499487

11949457

16448944

Source: Achunine, 1993 (citing the 1991 National Census).

The population of Nigeria in 1991 was about 89 million (see table 6). A demographic survey conducted by the Federal Office of Statistics in 1990 showed that the overall average household size was 5.4 persons. The figures for urban and rural areas were 4.8 and 5.6 persons respectively (see table 7). The same survey estimated that 24.4 per cent of all houses in Nigeria

were located in urban areas. Based on the above figures, the total number of households in Nigeria in 1991 is estimated at 16.4 million, of which 4.5 million are urban and 11.9 million rural.

Table 8. Percentage distribution of households, by dwelling types, Nigeria (1984-1985)

Dwelling type

Urban

Rural

Whole building

6.5

23.5

Duplex

0.4

0.1

Flat

3.8

1.5

Room

89.3

74.9

Total

100 0

100.0

Source: FOS. 1986: 53-54.

If one further assumes that the housing shortage in urban areas is 25 per cent, the total urban housing stock would be about 3.4 million units.

Table 8 presents the official figures from 1984-1985 on the volume of different types of dwellings in Nigeria. The reliability of these data, however, is very low. First the terminology on house types is unconventional. For example, "single" is used to refer to maisonettes and duplexes, and sometimes to semi-detached houses as well. Secondly, some of the figures in the table are rather unrealistic. The figures do, however, provide a rough indication of the actual distribution of dwelling units by types. The dominance of the room type of dwelling in both rural and urban areas, for instance, is made quite clear. Informative as this table may be, the contents do not portray any realism to what is on the ground. Based on concrete experience in both urban and rural areas, as well as discussions with various observers, Achunine (1993) has estimated the composition of the housing stock in Nigeria as is outlined in table 9. The table indicates that the vast majority of housing units can be classified as either rooms (74 per cent) or detached bungalows (17 per cent). ID the urban areas, however, flats are estimated to account for about 15 per cent of the total housing stock.

Table 9. Estimated housing stock, by dwelling types, Nigeria (1991)

 

Urban

Rural

Total

Dwelling

Percent-age

Units ('000)

Percent-age

Units ('000)

Percent-age

Units

(‘000)

Maisonette (mansion)

2

67

0

12

1

79

Duplex

3

101

0

-

I

101

Detached bungalow

10

337

20

2 289

17

2 627

Semi-detached bungalow

2

67

1

60

1

127

Flat

15

506

0

-

3

506

Room

65

2 194

77

9 200

74

11393

Others

3

101

2

287

3

388

Total

100

3 373

100

11 848

100

15221

a 25 per cent housing shortage assumed for urban areas.

Source: Based on Achunine, 1993.

Available data indicate that in rural areas, three out of every four households are owner-occupiers. The remainder are either paying rent or living in their units free of charge (see table 10). The dominance of owner-occupier households is understandable in the rural setting where the standard of housing is modest and almost every household is able to erect some form of shelter for itself without the usual institutional, regulatory and other constraints associated with shelter development in urban areas. ID urban areas, however' only one out of every three households is an owner-occupier. Even in the best of times it is difficult for the average household to own property in the urban area. Since the early 1980s, Nigerians in urban areas have experienced very harsh economic conditions. The prospects for the average household of becoming an owner-occupier have thus diminished even further.

Table 10. Housing tenure, Nigeria (1984-1985) (percentage)

Type of tenure

Urban

Rural

Owner-occupier

32.6

73.9

Renting

42.2

12.7

Free

25.2

13.4

Total

100.0

100.0

Source: FOS, 1986:53-54.

Table 11. Estimated housing needs Nigeria (1991 -2001)

 

Urban areas

Rural areas

Total

Housing stock 1991

3 373

11 848

15 221

Estimated number of households 2001

7 289

15 295

22 584

Required output 1991-2001

3 916

3 447

7 363

Required annual output, 1991-2001

391.6

344.7

736.3

Source: Based on Achunine, 1993

Table 12. Household income groups, Nigeria

Monthly household income (N)

Percentage of total population

< 100

45

100-199

30

200-299

1 4

300-399

8

500 +

4

Total

101

N= 4668 households.

Source: FOS, 1986.

The vast bulk of housing production in Nigeria's urban areas has been produced by the informal sector. Achunine (1993) estimates that about 70-80 per cent of all housing units produced in Nigeria's urban centres in the past have been built by the informal sector.

2. Housing needs

Table 11 provides an estimate of shelter needs in Nigeria for the decade 1991 to 2001. It shows that - given the estimated current housing stock, assuming an annual increase in the number of households of 5 per cent in urban areas and 2.5 per cent in rural areas, and a target of one housing unit per household in 2001 - the annual housing need between 1991 and 2001 is 392,000 units in urban areas, and 345,000 units in rural areas. The current housing deficit was above estimated to 25 per cent in urban areas, i.e., 1,126,000 units.

Table 13. Income groups, Nigeria (1992)

Income grup

Percentage of all households

Monthly household income (N)

Lowest

30

1-250

Low

63

251-1250

Middle

5

1251-2500

High

2

2500 +

Source: Achunine, 1993

The quality of the housing stock in Nigeria is poor, particularly in the rural areas where the majority of the people live. Table 4 shows that there is a widespread lack of facilities in urban areas as well. Possibly the most striking issue in the table is that 20.6 per cent of all housing units in urban areas (694,000 units), and 32.1 per cent of all units in rural areas (3,803,000 units), are more than 24 years old. If all these old units are taken as a (modest) estimate of the number of units in need of replacement or upgrading, it implies that the total current housing deficit is about 5,623,000 units, of which two thirds is in rural areas. If these are to be replaced or upgraded during the 19912001 period, it implies an additional annual need of 70,000 units in urban areas and 380,000 units in rural areas. Legitimate as the need for upgrading of existing shelter stock may be, this need fades into relative insignificance compared with the immediate need for new units to satisfy the requirements of an population growth of 1.4 million people per annum.

Table 14. Housing prices by types, Owerri, Nigeria (1992)

Housing type

Estimated market value (N thousands)

Estimated monthly rental value (N)

Maisonette

1,200-2,000

1,500-2,000

Duplex

n.a.

n.a.

Detached bungalow w/1 bedroom

150 180

200-250

Detached bung&low w/2 bedroom

300-350

350-400

Detached bung&low w/3 bedroom

450-500

800-1,000

Detached bungalow w/4 bedroom

600-700

1,200- 1.500

Semi-detached bungalow w/2-3 bedrooms

300-350

400-500

Block of flats' w/1 bedroom

700-800

160-200°

Block of flats' w/2 bedroom

1,000- 1,200

-50

Block of fiats' w/3 bedroom

n.a.

-100

Room in tenement building

n.a.

50-60

Room in "shanty" dwelling

n.a.

10-30

a A typical block contains 6 flats.

b For entire block.

c For a single flat.

Source: Achunine, 1993.

3. Housing demand

The demand for housing is a reflection of the ability of households to pay for them. Thus, an examination of household incomes and prices of housing units provides a basis for assessing housing demand. There are no current data on the distribution of household incomes in Nigeria. The most recent survey on the matter was carried out in 1984 and the result is summarized in table 12. About the same time that these data were being collected, the official definition of the low-income groups, at least as far as housing policy was concerned, included all households earning an annual income of N3000 or less. This group was estimated to account for over 70 per cent of the Nigerian population (FRN, 1985).

Table 15. Household incomes and dwelling type options, Nigeria (1992)

Income group

Dwelling options

Lowest

Room in shanty dwellings

Low

Room in tenement dwelling; and 1-bedroomed flat (in block of flats)

Middle

2-3 bedroomed flats; 1-2 bedroomed detached bungalow; and 2-3 bedroomed semi-detached bungalow

High

3-4 bedroomed detached bungalow; duplex; and maisonette

Source: Achunine, 1993.

The economic polices and conditions in Nigeria in the 1980s were devastating. Although, in numerical terms, household incomes have risen by a factor of about 5 since 1987, the purchasing power has declined by a factor of about 8. Thus, the average Nigerian household is worse-off today than in 1984. Based on this scenario, Achunine (1993) has estimated the income distribution in 1992 as is outlined in table 13.

Housing prices vary considerably from one part of Nigeria to another, and from one city to the next. The 1992 situation in Owerri, the capital city of Imo State, a medium-size city, is shown in table 14. Table 15 indicates the average household incomes available for housing (assumed to be 25 per cent of monthly income) and the dwelling type options open to each income group. The table clearly shows that the household incomes of the lowest-income group are too low to allow them to exercise any effective demand in the open market for formal housing. These households cannot afford any form of formal housing without subsidies. This leaves a balance of 70 per cent of households with sufficient income capacity to demand some form of housing in the market. Given an estimated 17 million households in 1992 and an annual growth rate of 2.5 Her cent. the expected number of households in 1997 would be 19.2 million. This means that over the next five years there would be a total demand in the formal housing market for 2.2 million units or 440,000 units per year most of which would be single rooms and one-bedroomed flats.

Table 16. Housing demand, by type of dwelling units (1992)

Dwelling types

Percentage of demand

Rooms; and l-bedroomed flats

90.0

Two-bedroomed flats; and 1-2 bedroomed bungalows

7.1

3-5 bedroomed bungalows; duplexes; and maisonettes

2.9

Total

100.0

Source: Achunine, 1993

The poorest 20 per cent of the households do not earn enough to participate in the formal housing markets. In the urban areas they resort to various informal housing arrangements for themselves. These arrangements include the setting-up of shanty dwellings of their own on land not belonging to them (squatting); renting shanty dwellings; colonization of uncompleted multiple-storey buildings; occupation of vacant spaces in public buildings at night; etc.