HOUSING SITUATION IN GWARINPA AREA OF ABUJA
Housing is considered a basic necessity to human life, it is an essential need to humanity that serves as a safe haven and security to mankind. Housing is refers invariably to the total residential neighbourhood/environment or micro district including physical structures, all necessary services, facilities and apparatus for the total health and social well-being of individuals and families. It is seen as the physical environment in which the family and society’s basic units must develop and comes in structures and enclosures in which people are housed for lodging, living accommodation or even work places.
Housing is not only a basic human need; it constitutes a vital component of man’s welfare, life sustenance and survival. In the hierarchy of man’s needs, housing has been ranked second to food. It has a profound influence on the health, efficiency, social behavior satisfaction and general welfare of the community. Housing is universally acknowledged as one of the most basic human needs, with a profound impact on the life-style, health, happiness as well as productivity of the individual.
In Nigerian major cities particularly Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, land ownership has become a serious issue especially as it is considered as a thing for those in position of authority or the upper-class. In Abuja particularly, land allocation and ownership has generated so many problems in recent times as many people who have resided in some areas which should have been considered their ancestral homes suffer demolition of their structures which are regarded as areas unapproved by the Federal Capita Development Agency (FCDA).
This has often caused fears among residents especially those residing in areas that are considered illegal but unknown to them and to land owners and to-be land lords who apart from being conscious of the right lands to acquire for building of houses are constrained by the high cost of properties. Some of this area which are considered as slums include Lungu, Kuchibina, Dawaki and Dutse. These areas are those which faced the recent cases of demolition where many people have been left homeless and their the lands taken over.
Over the years, the Federal and State Governments of Nigeria mounted ‘low-cost’ housing schemes that were expected to be affordable to the low income earners. By the time some of these schemes were completed, they were priced beyond the reach of the low-income earners and even that of the middle-income earners. This disturbing situation has continued to linger and prompted many residents who are low income earners to move to low-cost areas which are unknowing to them are under threats of demolition.
To those who can afford living in better structures likes estates, the prices have continued to soar high. This situation has left the demand for moderate accommodation hanging as the financial limitations of people of certain class raises questions as to how and when the Federal Government’s pledged of building 2000 houses for 2000 family would be achievable?
Even as it is government’s best desire to cause development in the capital city by developing local areas and settlements into model cities, this development has though been successful due to the huge results recorded. It desire is still having negative impacts on the dwellers in ways not limited to high cost of lands for acquisition, high cost of accommodation in estates as well as difficulties in affording houses by those who are less privileged. The foregoing situation has drawn the attention of the National Assembly to review the Land Use Act and Administration to make a general review of land ownership in the capital city and to be affordable by all.
Obtaining land In Gwrinpa area of Abuja
In Gwrinpa area of Abuja, a place reputed for the highest number of estates in the FCT, the cost of obtaining land is not a child’s play likewise is the cost of modest accommodations. The bedeviling cost of accommodation in Gwarinpa just as any other place in Abuja prompted the Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), a leading low-cost housing advocacy group to fight for the just cause of making housing and land ownership affordable.
The group led by Barr. Festus Adebayo has remained consistent in the quest for land and housing reforms in Nigeria. It has continuously called for the review of the Land Use Act and for a review of national housing fund and legislations to strengthen the housing sector among others. The Land Use Act has, over the years, generated controversy among housing experts and Nigerians who are owners of lands. A key provision of the law is that ownership of land is vested in the states.
The view of Barr, Adebayo and many other Nigerians may highly be the same as the only way of making housing and land ownership affordable would be through a review of the National Housing Fund (Establishment) Bill 2018 which was passed by the 8th Senate and transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent but was declined is reconsidered for review and passage. If this is done, the housing challenges and land ownership difficulties encountered in Gwarinpa and other major cities of Abuja would be averted and the cost of accommodation would be made affordable for everyone irrespective of status.