Components of Housing Needs in Nigeria

We encounter another set of difficulties with the planning concept of housing needs, difficulties which occur partly because of the assumption upon which these calculations are based. According to Cullingworth, an estimate of need are performed based on an assumption which man era of changes seldom proves valid. In no field is this factor more clearly seen than in housing.

Present and future housing need comprise of 3 components. And there are:

  1. Housing need arising from new household formation: –

This component is the predominant element in the calculation of future housing need in Nigeria.

  1. Statistics are crucial in a company, the present number of household in a city with those estimated for them:

These are:

  1. Total urban population
  2. Average household size

Difficulties in projecting a future increase in the total urban population arise partly because of the demise of vital demographic statistics in Nigeria and partly because population projection is inherently a hazardous enterprise.

Difficulties with population projection are not due solely to the poverty of demographic data in Nigeria. In Britain, the decimal census provides detailed information on changes in population distribution, age-sex composition, fertility, etc. And have permitted sophisticated demographic techniques of population projection. But, as Norman Dennis has shown, No reliable method has been devised for estimating future populations, and all forecast must be regarded as “extremely tentative; this is particularly so at regional and urban levels, where problems of anticipating natural increase are augmented by those regarding rates of migration. Thus even when reliable and detailed demographic data are available, there is a need for caution and skepticism about planning proposals based on population forecasts.

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Underlying such prediction about future household size are two important assumptions; first, that the Nigerian economy is “developing” and secondly, that development will follow the historical experience of Western countries like Britain, USA etc., where the average size of the household became smaller after 1891. The assumption that the Nigerian Economy is in transition to self-sustaining growth is contained in the National development plan itself.

Moreover, some young adult who would customarily expect to form new household when they marry may be unable to do so under the urban condition, remaining dependent for housing on members of the extended family.

The combination of the high birth rate with the persistence extended family in the third world may mean that the rate of household formats is exceeded by the rate of population growth.

Increase in the housing stock itself is a powerful incentive to household fission.

Finally, the inherent difficulties of projecting future urban population are exaggerated in Nigeria by the absence of a series of a reliable census.

  1. Overcrowding: –

The usual indicator of overcrowding is an official norm for the maximum number of person per habitable room, the acceptable occupancy rate varies from one country to another. What is considered “Crowded in Europe or North America is the normal condition in most Third World Countries”.

For urban Nigeria, a maximum of two persons per room has been proposed as an appropriate standard. But now seems too ambitious a target in relation to existing condition.

Several problems arise from the use of a person – per – room ratio as an indicator of overcrowding, frost; the ratio ignores the area and volume of the room. Secondly, it fails to distinguish between adult.


Further Reading

Urbanization in Nigeria: Problems and Solutions

How Rural Area Can Be Beneficial To Urban Area

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