With her current rate of population growth and urbanisation, Nigeria faces a significant housing challenge. According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s urban population is expected to grow by an average of 6.4% annually, leading to a projected population growth of 400 million people with an estimated 200 million inhabitants residing in cities by 2050.
Accommodating this surge in urbanization necessitates innovative approaches to the housing deficit. One such approach that gained prominence in recent years is Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).
As the country grapples with the challenges of rapid urbanization and a growing housing deficit, PPP has emerged as a potential solution to address these issues.
In the context of housing development, PPP involves cooperation between government agencies and private real estate developers, investors, and construction companies to provide housing for those who need it.
PPP in housing provides a lot of opportunities to promote popular participation in public housing delivery, encouraging greater private sector participation through multiple incentives, and reviewing building standards.
It also enforces the use of local building materials and leverages economies of scale to reduce costs per unit and increase the number of low-cost housing units.
Recognizing the potential of PPP in the housing sector, it becomes imperative for stakeholders in the sector in Nigeria to unite and work towards realizing the goals outlined in the country’s National Housing and Urban Development policies.
Governments at the federal and state levels have endeavored to provide affordable housing to a substantial portion of the population through various policies and initiatives.
These include incentives for private developers, streamlined approval processes, and regulatory frameworks that facilitate collaboration.
But the main challenge remains access to loan facilities, mortgages as well as land ownership and approvals for housing needs in most states in Nigeria.
In July 2019, the federal government unveiled plans to review the national urban development policy and launch urban renewal initiatives. The impact of such moves is yet to change anything in minimizing access to housing and its affordability.
The administration of President Bola Tinubu should be steadfast in advancing housing delivery systems by making the mortgage banks work for the people and allowing Nigerian workers who contribute to National Mortgage Banks to access their funds and land allocations in places of their choice.
If these challenges are addressed and inputs received from stakeholders, all the issues that led to housing shortages, poor building quality, lack of infrastructure in residential areas, and limited access to financing for potential homeowners will be significantly minimized in Nigeria.
There is also the need to secure long-term financing through deliberate legislation that would guarantee investments under the PPP arrangements in Nigeria.
Attracting private investment on a large scale requires addressing risk perception and financial stability issues.
There is room for improvement in the regulatory framework to provide clarity and consistency in PPP agreements to ensure that more houses are provided for Nigerians and other residents in all parts of the country.
There is also the complicated and costly access to land for housing projects, requiring the streamlining of the land acquisition process for the success of PPP in the housing sector.
The expansion of PPP in housing will lead to increased employment opportunities in construction, real estate, and related industries, contributing to economic growth.
Additionally, successful housing projects can boost economic growth by increasing property values and attracting further investment
Future PPPs should focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly housing solutions, aligning with global trends towards green building practices and reducing the environmental impact of housing development.
The success of these partnerships will depend largely on planning, transparency, and commitment to addressing the housing needs of Nigerians, especially low-income earners.
Undoubtedly, such approaches would go a long way in addressing Nigeria’s housing deficit ranging from 14 million in 2010 to 28 million housing units required by Nigerians in 2022.
Regardless of these challenges, the Public-Private Partnership in the Nigerian housing sector has made significant progress by harnessing the expertise and resources of the private sector to create housing models that serve a range of income groups.
Nigeria can afford standard housing that will meet the 21st-century designs with attractive private investment that would be sustainable towards transforming the housing landscape in the country because the over 28 million people in need of shelter deserve the best now and in the future.