Promoting PPP as sustainable model for effective housing delivery and development in Nigeria

The demand for housing as basic physical, social and economic need of man has substantially remained on the increase in developed and developing countries across the globe. The insatiable human desire to acquire and own land with the intent of constructing livable homes which simultaneously guarantees his safety from external conditions and attacks, and also preserve his prestige through secured titles, ultimately positions housing as a means of ensuring continuity. 

The need for effective housing development is high on all fronts universally, despite being time consuming and capital intensive judging from extensive processes undertaken in its actualisation. In developing countries, the growing aspiration to adequately fulfil fundamental housing needs is not met sufficiently due to limiting factors emerging from issues of low housing supply occasioned by long construction period, high cost of land acquisition, astronomic cost of building materials and difficulty in accessing credit facilities. 

The widening gaps in housing deficit have generated great concerns, social problems including rapid urbanization caused by population outburst have created challenging issues bothering on homelessness and slum formation beaconing on the dire need for public policies and intervention programs on housing development. 

In Nigeria, public efforts geared towards addressing housing problems were hindered by poor policy implementation, lack of continuity and political will, inadequate land distribution and general under performance of established mortgage institutions. These standing challenges have inevitably prompted the participation of private developers in the Nigerian real estate industry. 

For many decades, the provision of housing in Nigeria has been dutifully carried out by private developers who bear the burden of collectively acquiring land and financing housing development through equity and trust funds. In contrast to public entities, who develop housing as social goods without profit motives, the private operators are profit minded and driven towards maximising returns with little concerns for fairness in prices or equitable distribution of housing. It is undebatable that private developers have reasonably filled up yearning vacuum in Nigeria’s housing sector.

However, it is paramount to regulate their operations in order to eliminate unfair business practices and exploitation. The success of housing delivery in Nigeria would at best be achieved through the adoption of innovative strategies that fuses the ideas and ambition of both public and private entities into a singular objective aimed at resolving existing housing problems. 

The public private partnership (PPP) initiative as a pragmatic model would allow for efficient collaboration on contractual terms. Among issues defined include; party to bear financial obligation, resource procurement method, operational period, take-over and other rights and privileges accruable to parties. 

In the PPP arrangement, the shortfall in Nigeria’s housing supply will be alleviated as the provision of developable public lands would be ensured by the public party tasked with determining zoning pattern, specifying building codes and regulating pricing structure, while charging the commissioned private developer to deliver and operate the finished housing projects within specified period before the reversion of ownership as agreed upon.

Obiageri V. Acholonu

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