All over the world, Housing stands out as one of the most basic of human needs. In Nigeria, this need is undermined by the fact that about 60% of Nigerians are without adequate shelter, while residential home ownership in Nigeria is less than 25% compared with 75% which is obtainable internationally.
The situation in Nigeria presents a paradox. While citizens desire good quality shelter, the cost of acquisition poses a big problem. The inability for individuals to acquire this necessary commodity stems from the fact that majority of her citizen’s earns a meagre income in the face of high cost of building materials, high unemployment rate, low GDP per capita income, high construction costs and the high cost of land in urban areas.
In a bid to address Housing shortages, government stands out as the instrument for change. The fight requires the efforts of the Federal, State, local governments, as well as the citizenry. Delta State Government has been working assiduously to address Housing needs in the state, to relieve the masses.
In keeping with the essence of the 3 point agenda, the present administration, through the State Ministry of Housing, has embarked on a comprehensive housing scheme for the benefit of its citizens in various parts of the state.
Some of these housing schemes embarked upon include the rural housing scheme; low and medium housing schemes in oil producing areas; Housing units in all the local government headquarters; Public Officers Housing Development Scheme; Public Private Partnership Scheme (PPPS) and much more.
The government has embarked on the first phase of the construction of 800 units of housing in all local government headquarters, 120 units of which have already been completed in Ogwashi-Uku, in the Aniocha South Local Government Area.
Under the Rural Housing Scheme (RHS), which involves the use of cheaper yet durable alternatives to common building materials; 30 housing units have been completed at Okpara in Ethiope East Council Area, 32 units are currently under construction at Ozoro, and a new site has been acquired for additional units in Ibusa.
For the low and medium cost housing scheme in oil-producing areas; 14 housing projects have been completed out of a total of 21 areas earmarked to benefit from the scheme. The completed projects include those located at Agbarho, Koko, Aboh, Uzere, Oleh, Otu-Jeremi, Ogbe-Ijoh, Oghara, Abigborodo, Ogidigben, Ode-Itsekiri, Ughelli and Gbokoda. The projects located at Ogulagha, Warri, Ugbege, Oporoza, Ogbimbiri, Tisu Kolo-Kolo and Burutu are still at various levels of construction.
Another housing program of note is the Public Officers’ Housing Development Scheme which aims at providing suitable accommodation for public officers in both the low and high income brackets. So far, this scheme has yielded a House of Assembly Village; Commissioners’ Quarters; Permanent Secretaries’ Quarters; Okwe Housing Estate and Junior Staff Quarters; Delta Towers in Abuja among others.
Some of the other achievements of the state Ministry of Housing include; the completion of the New Secretariat Annex; establishment of Nigeria Navy Logistics Headquarters in Oghara; beautification of Effurun Roundabout and construction of Corpers’ Lodges in Asaba, Warri, Ughelli, Isiokolo and Koko.
In conclusion, the Delta State government also set up a committee to investigate how to enlist the help of the private sector in providing affording housing for the residents of Delta State, which resulted in the propagation of the Public/Private Partnership Scheme (PPPS).