Finebricks Brief History of Nigeria till date

A Brief History of Nigeria and the Housing Sector from 1960 to Date

Brief History of Nigeria till date.

Nigeria officially referred to as the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a federal state in West Africa. It borders Cameroon and Chad to the East, Benin to the west, and Niger to the north. It also has a coast in the south that lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. Nigeria is made up of 36 cities and the Federal Capital Territory, where Abuja, the capital city is situated.

There are more than 250 ethnic groups, including Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo. Languages: English (official), Hausa. Religions: Christianity (Protestant, other Christians, Roman Catholic), Islam, traditional beliefs. Currency: naira.

Nigeria was visited in the 15th century by Europeans, then it became a center for the trade in enslaved people, in 1851, the British bombarded Lagos while intervening in the Lagos Sovereignty power struggle, deposed Oba Kosoko who favored slave trade, and in his place appointed Oba Akitoye.

In 1856, Britain chartered the Royal Niger Company and in 1900 the company’s region came under the leadership of the British government which then consolidated its control over the area of present-day Nigeria. On January 8, 1897, British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Baron Frederick Lugard, a British colonial administrator named the country Nigeria; it was taken from the Niger River running through the country.

Nigeria was then made a British protectorate on 1 January 1901, and the southern and northern protectorate was officially merged as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914. Towards the mid-20th century, a big wave of sovereignty was sweeping across the African continent and Nigeria attained its independence on 1 October 1960.

On October 1, 1960, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, founder of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), was appointed as prime minister (head of government) of the Federation of Nigeria.  Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, leader of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, was appointed as Governor-General (representative of Queen Elizabeth II, the Nigerian head of state) on November 16, 1960.  The Federal Republic of Nigeria was established on October 1, 1963, with Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as prime minister (head of government) and Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe as president (head of state).

Ethnic strife soon led to military coups, and military groups ruled the country from 1966 to 1979 and from 1983 to 1999. The civil war between the federal government and the former Eastern region, Biafra (1967–1970), ended in Biafra’s surrender after the death by starvation of perhaps a million Biafrans. In 1991 the capital was moved from Lagos to Abuja.

The military rule however continued in Nigeria 9 more years after the civil war. Another election was eventually held in 1979 and this opened the door to the second republic. Shehu Shagari was president and Alex Ekweme was the Vice President. However, the government was accused of corruption and the military took over again in 1983. The military government was headed by Muhammadu Buhari. He however did not last long as he was ousted out of office via another Military coup. Badamasi Babangida however took over this time around and he was military president till 1993 when he “stepped aside” after nullifying the fairest and freest election in Nigeria’s history; the 1993 election that MKO Abiola won.

Ernest Shonekan occupied the office for a few months until he was forced out of office by Sanni Abacha. Sanni Abacha was military president till he died in 1998. He was replaced by another military man, Abdulsalam Abubakar, who handed over power to a civilian president, Olusegun Obasanjo. Olusegun Obasanjo remained president for 8 years and he left office in 2007 after handing over to Late Umaru Musa Yar’adua. Unfortunately, Yar’adua only lasted for about a year in office, and his former Vice, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan took over office as President. He was in office till 2015 when he was voted out of office by President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, serving till date.

Nigeria has come a long way as a democratic nation, with a population of over 200 million people, from the days of British colonization to the first years of indigenous rule, through military takeovers, onto democratic rule. Yes, Nigerians have survived many high and low moments with hopes of a better tomorrow. We are a much larger and stronger country today than we were in 1960. There are numerous advantages as well as disadvantages. Some things haven’t changed, but we believe the economy has moved more rapidly than it did at independence. That is not to say that there are no difficulties. Things are improving because some things that were not available in the past are now available, and these things have improved our standard of living.

In all of this development that has happened in Nigeria, one of the sectors that have seen significant growth is the housing and the real estate sector, although the housing sector is currently still lagging compared to other African nations. In Nigeria, several governments since independence have seen housing as a major priority and for that reason, it has adopted several policies in the past to try to eradicate the housing problems that exist in the country.

The Third Nigeria’s National Development Plan (1975-80) was drawn up for Nigeria in early 1960. In the plan, the government accepted the provision of housing for the public as part of its social responsibilities and adopted several measures to reduce the housing challenges facing the nation. One of these plans includes constructing two hundred thousand (200,000) housing units and allocate to individuals. This gave rise to the National Low-Cost Housing Scheme (NLCS) which was launched in 1980 for this purpose.

One of the most popular projects of the NLCHS is the one that was carried out by the former governor of Lagos State, Lateef Jakande administration. The estate was officially commissioned on December 29, 1983. At the time it was constructed, it was the largest in West Africa. The Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) built the houses and it was placed under the mortgage as many low-income earners could not afford to pay for their flats. The administration built 16 housing estates during the Second Republic and the landmark achievement remains unmatched by no other state governor to date.

In  1990  the federal government constructed  72 prototypes three bedroom bungalows in  Satellite  Town,  Lagos to provide affordable housing units for the low-income earners but unfortunately, The houses when built were not affordable to the targeted group and by 1985  all uncompleted housing projects and unoccupied completed ones of the federal government were handed over to the state governments for completion and allocation.

In 1991, the Federal Government decided to stop direct participation in the sub-sector by coming up with the New National Housing Scheme (NHS) which was to play the role of providing the enabling environment to enhance private sector participation. The housing policy has it that the federal government will through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria  (FMBN) lend funds to the newly created Private Sector Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) who will, in turn, lend to individuals at subsidized rates, this is the development that gave birth to the rise of private real estates in the country.

In 2002  effort was made by Olusegun  Obasanjo’s administration to provide affordable housing for low-income earners. Part of the reforms that were made was the 2002 National Housing Policy, the creation of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), and the Building Materials Producers Association of Nigeria (BUMPAN). With the reforms, improvement was made but the supply of housing still fell far below demand, and nothing significant was achieved in terms of providing affordable housing for low-income earners. Houses that were provided cost between N2.5m ($15,151.52) and N5m ($30,303.03) and were only affordable to workers on grade level 10 and above.

In 2000 the government establishes the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and proposes a housing reform. The 2002-2004 policy focus was on the private sector to serve as the main catalyst for housing delivery in Nigeria while the government concentrates on the provision of basic infrastructures for the new housing development. Issues in the Land Use Act were equally given attention for review as well as the financial structure such as the FMBN and provision of incentives to developers inform of tax holidays for five years. The present policy recognizes the private sector as the main solution to the housing deficit in the country while the government opts to function as an enabler and facilitator in housing delivery.

As of now, Nigeria currently has a N17 million housing deficit, and access to affordable housing has largely, remained an unfulfilled dream to the vast majority, most

especially, the middle and the lower classes of society and that’s Finebricks Properties and Investment Ltd’s paramount goal, to bridge the housing gap and provide quality housing for all and sundry.

In conclusion, it is believed that the private sector i.e the real estate sector is the country saving grace as regards housing, and this can’t be achieved without the help of the government.

Some of the ways the government can help the real estate sector are;

  • The private sector should be provided with incentives, loans, and subsidies to boost the drive in housing development and delivery.
  • Provide adequate incentives and an enabling environment for greater private sector (formal and informal) participation in the provision of housing.
  • The regulatory role of the government in the housing sector should also be strengthened.
  • There could be appropriate tax incentives and pioneer status in designated localities for real estate developers.
  • Make land for housing development easily accessible and affordable.
  • Develop and promote the use of certified locally produced building materials as a means of reducing construction costs.
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