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ASSESSMENT OF THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP IN HOUSING DELIVERY IN NIGERIA
Nigeria faces a tremendous shortfall in housing provision, especially in its urban areas. Consequently, Public – Private Partnership in housing provision has been adopted as a means of addressing this problem. Several previous studies have focused on the role of government agencies in the government – provider approach to housing, but adequate attention has not been given to the role of government agencies in public – private partnerships in housing. This work attempts to fill this gap in literature by examining the role of government agencies in public – private partnerships in housing. A study of thirteen (13) government agencies in six selected Nigerian cities with more emphasis on the Imo State Housing Corporation was undertaken. The findings indicate that though the agencies tended to focus on the provision of access to land and the regulatory frameworks for housing development, the majority of Nigerians have not benefited from this arrangement. The work recommends that government agencies should also be involved in providing basic amenities and subsidies to ensure that public – private partnership housing serves the interest of most Nigerians.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Housing has been universally recognized as one of the most essential necessities of human life and is a major economic asset in every nation. Adequate housing provides the foundation for stable communities and social inclusion (Oladapo, 2006). Gilbertson, et al (2008) observed that there is a significant association between housing conditions and physical and mental health of an individual. People’s right to shelter is thus a basic one and the provision of decent housing to all requiring them should be the hallmark of every civilized society and one of the criteria for gauging development.
Housing delivery is a highly contentious and politicized issue that is of great concern to administrators, scholars and the public in Nigeria.
In the last few decades, the influx of people into urban areas, the natural population increase and inadequate responses by the government have contributed to the worsening housing situation in this country, to the extent that economic development and the welfare of the citizens are adversely affected (Akinmoladun and Oluwoye, 2007; Ademiluyi and Raji, 2008). These problems have become more critical in the cities, where huge housing supply deficits, dilapidated housing conditions, high cost of housing as well as proliferation of slums and squatter settlements exist (Iyagba and Asunmo, 1997; Adedeyi, 2005; UN-HABITAT, 2006b; 2006d; Daramola, 2006).
As a result, a large majority of urban residents, particularly the low-income earners who constitute about 50% of Nigeria’s 140 million people (Oxford Police Management, 2004) are forced to live in conditions that constitute an affront to human dignity (Alkali, 2005; Coker, et al; 2007; UNFPA, 2007; Aribigbola, 2008).
However, the provision of adequate housing in Nigeria and other developing nations alike still remains one of the most intractable challenges facing human and national development. Previous attempts by all stakeholders, including government agencies, planners and developers to provide necessary recipe for solving the housing problem have yielded little or no success.
In recognition of the fact that either the public or the private sector are able to address this problem individually, current efforts in addressing the housing situation in Nigeria are mostly based on collaborative efforts (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, 2004; Mabogunje, 2003). Public- Private Partnership (PPPs) are among the most common forms of such collaborative efforts (Emerole, 2002; Ikekpeazu, 2004; Owei, 2007; AMCHUD, 2008:13).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Housing finance constitutes one of the major pillars of housing delivery. Indeed, without a well-organized and efficient housing finance mechanism, the goal of a housing development policy will be largely unattainable. Housing finance has been recognized as an important, almost indispensable factor in the housing delivery system. This is because only the very few in any nation can afford to pay cash for a house or pay cash for a major renovation of the house. Most other people must have to finance their building and maintenance through loans, personal savings, assistance from relatives or friends and gifts.
Introduction of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in housing delivery is to enhance the productivity of the housing sector, increase housing affordability and improve access to basic infrastructure and social services. Although PPPs have been adopted in addressing housing provision challenges in Nigeria, the extent to which government is responding to its changing role and the emphasis on collaborations in housing provisions have not been adequately addressed.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
It is against the above background that this study seeks:
iii. To identify the actors and their roles in PPP in housing provision.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The results of this study will educate the general public on the role of government agencies in PPP and how it can be used as the instrument of development in housing delivery.
The findings will sensitize the stakeholders in building construction and real estate management on the need for effective collaboration with the public and private sector to ensure speedy financing and delivery of housing units all over the country noting that public-private partnership has facilitated development in housing delivery and maintenance in other advanced countries of the world.
This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, to provide new explanation to the topic.
The result of this study will assist in finding enduring solution to the housing problem in Nigeria.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
At the end of the study, the following questions would have been answered;
iii. Who are the principal actors and their roles in PPP in housing delivery?
The following hypotheses were made and which will be subsequently tested with chi-square:
Ho: Government agencies do not play a vital role in PPP in housing provisions.
HA: Government agencies have a role to play in PPP in housing provisions.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY/ DELIMITATION
This study on the role of government agencies in PPP in housing delivery in Nigeria will cover the involvement of the public and private sectors in the provision and maintenance of housing development. The focus will be the role of the Imo State Housing Corporation in providing housing development in Imo State.
1.8 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Public – Private Partnership (PPPs), Housing, Assessment, Role.
PPPs: Have been defined in various ways (Osborne, 2000; Xie and Stough, 20002; Warner and Sullivan, 2004; Rein et al., 2005; Tomlinson, 2005; Pessoa, 2006; Mazouz et al., 2008). In its simplest form, Fiszbein and Lowden (1999:164) defined PPP as “the pooling of resources (financial, human, technical and intangible such as information and political support) from public and private sources to achieve a commonly agreed goal”.
It has also been defined as collaborative effort among public, private and third sector organizations based on mutual trust, a division of labour and a comparative advantage in the sharing of responsibilities, risks and benefits (Brinkerhoff and Brinkerhoff 2004; Tomlinson, 2005; Selskey and Parker, 2005; UN-HABITAT, 2006b, Shelter Afrique, 2008).
Housing: According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, housing has been defined as “houses, flats, etc; accommodation or providing accommodation for people.
Assessment: It has been defined as “a carefully considered opinion or judgement or the action of assessing somebody /something (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary).
Role: It is defined as “a function that a person or thing typically has or is expected to have”.
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