Nigeria,
the most populous black nation in Africa and the fourth largest economy in the
continent has much to be desired when it comes to housing rights, overcrowding
has for long characterized living accommodation in urban areas of Nigeria.
Reports in common country assessment in united nation national system in 2001
indicate that there is enormous Nigerian population living in slum and still
increasing continuously. The environment and standard of hygienic in a
significant proportion of the houses in Nigeria urban centers are very poor as
rightly observed in that report , majority of the houses provided by the
private developers besides being expensive are deficient in providing the
required minimum standards that mean healthy and comfortable living. A recent
study in NEEDS 2004 shows that about 77 percent of Lagos households are living
in substandard housing characterized by overcrowding and is lacking basic
amenities. The growing number of

Homelessness
in Lagos, and the scarcity of suitable accommodation for various cadres of
civil servant including senior staffs in Abuja are further evidence of the
problems of housing right in major Nigerian city. The problem according to
reports on human factor in National Development indicates that urban centers
manifest various developmental issues such as scarcity, cost the poor quality
and over stressful environment. Apart from this, the breakdown of public
structures and infrastructure is another major feature of Nigeria urban areas
where it pointed out that in rural areas; there is virtually no overcrowding in
demand for housing except the seasonal one experienced during the festival when
people come to their roots for celebration. It went further that housing
problem synonymous with rural housing is a qualitative issue where they display
acute deficiency and are central to the issue of rights. The ratification and
adoption of the millennium

development
goal for decent shelter and the reduction in the number of slum dwellers has
made it more glaring that many countries, Nigeria inclusive, has much to do.
This is because of the far cry and failure in housing delivery when in the year
2000; it’s adopted “housing for all” strategy. The lesson to learn from the
past and future started manifesting in 1992 when it was reported that Nigeria
needed to construct 700,000 housing units per annum in order to attain the
target of 8 million by the year 2000. Obviously then, far less number of
building were constructed during that eight years period. Accordingly, the
number of building that government had put up was very low, particularly as
government seek less and less to be directly involved in housing programmes.
Consequently, with the poor salary in Nigeria and high rate of poverty which is
put at 76 percent presently, coupled with rising inflation and increased cost
of building materials only

a
negligible proportion of Nigerian can build a house or buy one from the private
mortgage companies. Also, the provision of the National Housing Fund Decree
(NHFD) requiring worker to pay 2.5 percent of their basic salary to fund
another operation in the civil service, it is estimated that the lowest
categories of civil servant of about 17,300 are to purchase a two bedroom house
under the scheme and the highest paid civil servant may need up to 258 years
contribution to pay for such a house excluding interest. Obviously, in the long
run, the NHFD was unable to effectively achieve this aim to facilitate the
mobilization of fund for the provision of houses at affordable price and to
ensure constant supply of loans for the purpose of building, purchasing and
improvement of residential houses, 
“With-which the economic, political and social condition remains the upper
most challenges in the 1990s in Nigeria,”. A recent report in 2009 on the
review of

housing
delivery effort in Nigeria, put the existing housing situation to 23 per 100
inhabitants, housing deficit is at 15 million, while 12 trillion will be
required to finance the deficit. This is about four (4) times the annual budget
of Nigeria. Home price rent on the other hand, has grown ahead of rent in the
market, and has been inexhaustibly shifting towards expensive home. When
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development discovered that the country needs about
10 million housing units before all Nigerians can be sheltered, the then
administration of Olusegun Obasanjo came up with vision 2020 as one of its
point agenda, one area that is to be addressed is the issue of housing, this
policy eventually fall short of expectation during that period. There were many
alleged cases of forceful eviction and demolition of houses which already, is
making it more inadequate, some of which is Abuja and Ijora Badia experience.
It was reported that not less than

300,000
rendered homeless mostly women and children, as expressed by UNCH in 2005.
There were also clear evidences of forceful eviction that has been extensively
used in Nigeria as a tool for urban re-engineering. In recent past, it was
reported that 300,000 resident houses in July 1990 of Maroko in Lagos State are
also victim under such claim that their community was prone to flooding and”
unfit for human habitation. There was also a reported case of  government of Rivers State for allegation of
forceful eviction of over 1,000,000 rainbow town resident in 2001, where it
claim that the community harbor too many criminal. Also, the tragedy of
eviction in built houses apartment of about 3,000 Maroko residents in April
2005, where it also claimed that it was helping citizen to flush out
undesirable squatters.  Also in April
2005, Agip water community in Port-Harcourt, 5,000 to 10,000 was rendered
homeless. Expectedly, as precarious as the situation, it

pushes
for housing right and the need for the internationally acceptable best practice
in housing best practice as a lesson as the case may be. It was against this
backdrop housing becomes the right that must be attached with adequate
importance that is  already been existing
ever since it was indicated in article 25 of 1948 universal declaration of
human right during the late 80s, it appears again in the United Nation general
assembly (resolution 42/146), which reiterated the need to take at national and
international levels, measures to protect the right of all persons  within adequate standard of living for
themselves and their family, (including adequate housing). It also reaffirm
these in Vienna declaration on human right paragraph 31 of 1993 that the right
of everyone to standard of living, adequately shelter for health and well-being
must include food and medical care, housing and the necessary social service”
the Istanbul human settlement

summit
(paragraph 8) of 1996 further reinforce 
the commitments to full progressive realization of the right to adequate
housing as provided for in international instrument. To this end, it state that
“we shall seek the active participation of our problem, private and
non-governmental partners at all levels to ensure legal security of tenure
protection from discrimination and equal access to affordable adequate housing,
land and property. international law in Nairobi in 2006,  also reiterate  the progressive legal obligation that
entrusted the cornerstone of the international convention on economy, social
and cultural right, which urge all states to make every effort towards
achieving the full realization of the rights of citizens to  that convention. This indicate that the state
will perform it fulfillment of realizing housing right in all the states
levels  such that a status in which any
significant numbers or individual is deprive of basic

shelter
is prima-fasci falling to perform it obligation under the convention. In
addition, any retrogressive measure such as false eviction are violation of the
right to housing should be voided, state have a duty to respect, protect and
fulfill housing right. Respecting obligations that state should not do anything
that violate those rights, protecting their obligation; the state to prevent
any other agency from violating people’s rights to housing, incorporating
obligation both to facilitators or be enabled through national housing policy
to provide for those whose housing is possible with their resources. On the
right to adequate housing as enlarged by the committee on economic, social and
cultural rights in 1991 in it general comment of number 4. It emphasized the
right to adequate housing, the right to life, somewhere in security, peace and
dignity. This consist of it element on legal security of tenure, availability
of several material facility

and
infrastructure, affordability, habitability, accessibility, location and
cultural adequacy. Constitutional claims from different countries should
realize that housing is recognized as national laws. This indicate the
importance of best practiced housing right in Armenia’s (article 31) when its
stipulate that every citizen is entitled to adequate standard of living for
himself and his family, (article 23/3) in Belgium, says everyone has the right
to enjoy a life in conformity with human dignity, their right in particular, is
emphasizing the need to adequate housing. Article 178 of Laws of Honduras
submitted that all Hondurans has the right to decent housing, the state, its
reads’’ the state shall design and implement housing programme for social
interest. Article 4 of Mexico says every family has the right to enjoy decent
and proper housing, the law shall established the instrument and necessary
support to reach its set of goals. Nicaragua

(article
64) outlined that Nicaraguans has the right to decent comfortable and safe
housing that guarantee family privacy. 
It stipulates that the state shall promote the fulfillment of this
right. The Philippians article 13(9) states; that the state shall by law and
for the common good undertake, incorporate with private sector a continuing
programme of urban land reform and housing, which will make all available at
affordable cost, decent housing and basic service to under-privileged and
homeless citizens in urban and resettlement areas. Article 65(1) of Portugal
says; everyone shall have right to himself and family to a dwelling of adequate
size, satisfying standard of hygienic, comfort, 
preserving, personal and family privacy. Article 47(1) of the Russian
Federation stipulates that each person has a right to housing and that no one
may be arbitrarily deprived of housing. Article 47 of Spain reads; all
Spaniards have the right to enjoy decent and

adequate
housing. This law indicates that the state should setup legal, social and
economic environment in which household have adequate chance to fulfill their
housing need. Indeed, Nigeria remain a signatory to article 14 of the African
Charter on Human and People Right in 1981 on right to property but the Charter
does  not provide right to adequate
housing. Its indicate that section 30 – 42 chapter iv of the constitution of
the federal republic of Nigeria grant right as follows; the right to life, the
right to human dignity, the right to personal liberty, the right to fair
hearing, the right to private and family life, the right to freedom of
movement, the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to acquire and
own property and the right to adequate payment and compensation for private
property, compulsory taken by the government, it also explain the establishment
of the federal housing authority and Nigerian building society which was

later
renamed to federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, the promulgation of a law in 1990
mandating employers with 500 employees to establish, execute and maintain a
housing scheme for it employee. But Inspite of all these efforts, there are
much to be done since no justifiable and claimable right to housing is
entrenched in both international, continental and national housing right, an
example is the Nigerian Land-use Decree of 1978, which was with the aim of
promoting right to housing by providing accessibility to land for all
Nigerians, and has being faulted in various quarters, in their quest to
ameliorate these lingering challenges that still stands unresolved. The present
administration acknowledge the need for its reform in its transformation agenda
and indeed, its on going constitutional reform due to its perceived anomalies
and ineffectiveness. At the end, it is hoped that we borrow a leave from those
identified countries with robust policies on

housing delivery for its
people`    

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