Kingsley U.N Chikwendu,
As we are still feeling the effects of coronavirus that almost grinded the world to a standstill, the economic effects remain severe, majority of the masses are still feeling the effects. Resulting from this severity, many jobs have been lost and most businesses folding up. It is even possible that many are facing eviction out of their rented homes, a looming housing crisis may descend on the country already experiencing housing deficit if appropriate measures are not strictly put in place and implemented.
While the Nigerian government will need to employ short-term measures to avoid this, one major step towards resolving the decades long housing problems in the country is to revisit some of the housing policies that have been in existence over the years, to know the ones that need to be removed or revamped.
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If the government is to be truthful to itself, housing is a right for every Nigerian yet, not a right, going by the way it has been handled in the country and going by the huge housing deficit that has existed and still existing. There should be no discrimination or inequality in housing provisions as is already the case today, some persons are seen to be confined to certain areas of residence while places like cities are reserved for the rich and elites.
If the government will aim towards addressing these housing inequities, the gap between the rich and average citizens will not be as huge as it is today. Maybe, the number of poor persons in the country will reduce in good number of ways, it will be for the benefit of all. This is to show the extent of burden that can be lifted off the shoulders of many if affordable homes are created.
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It is true that housing deficit has existed long before the outbreak of coronavirus because, successive governments in the country had not made it a priority. Eviction problems or difficulties in meeting up rent obligations will certainly rise in this period when majority of persons have been relieved of their occupations, others are experiencing difficulties in business or failure entirely.
In situations of economic hardship presently experienced and caused by unexpected circumstances, a government should have had already existing programs/projects that can cater for emergency needs like the pandemic especially, the welfare of citizens, chief of which is shelter because providing sheltering assistance for the masses can aid in stabilizing their daily activities, it adds more value to their existence. Recognizing this role[s] of a stable affordable housing, it impacts positively on other life endeavors like education, health, welfare and means of livelihood.