1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Infrastructure refers to the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function (Frank, 2003). It typically characterizes technical structures such as housing, roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, and so forth, and can be defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions. However, all these coupled together can bring about the provision of good and affordable housing (Nubi, 2003).
Housing infrastructural provision refers to the bringing into existence of the basic amenities and services which must be in place for a particular activity or pursuit. However, no nation can boast of significant development or an enhanced economy without providing the basic infrastructures for the citizens’ well-being (Otegbulu & Adewunmi, 2008).
Provision of adequate infrastructural facilities is not taken for granted in developed countries; however, it remains a major challenge in developing countries, especially in Nigeria (Ajanlekoko, 2001). According to Yomi (2003), the problem of housing provision has become an everyday discussion in all quarters of the public and private services of the developing countries of Africa including Nigeria. It has become increasingly glaring that most of the urban population live in dehumanizing housing environment while those that have access to average housing do so at abnormal and outrageous cost. Different definitions have been ascribed by several authors to the word infrastructure. Infrastructural development is the provision of basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society like industries, buildings, roads, bridges, health services, governance and so on (Amis & Kumar, 2000). It is the development of enterprise or the products, services and facilities necessary for an economy to function (Sulivan and Sheffrin, 2003).
Infrastructures can be described generally as the set of interconnected structural elements that provide framework supporting an entire structure of development (Donald, 1974). It is an important term for judging a country, region or state’s and individual’s developments/status. Infrastructural development typically refers to the provision by government or other authorities the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, water supply, sewers, electrical national grids, telecommunications, and so forth (Fulmer, 2009). Amis and Kumar (2000) argued that infrastructure helps individuals cope with the different dimensions of poverty. It follows therefore, that whenever people are deprived of basic infrastructures, the result is impoverishment. It also follows that cities with the greatest number of poor people are those whose citizens lack infrastructure the most (Fox, 1994). Infrastructure development and housing provision are interwoven. Without infrastructures, housing cannot be provided and hence should be treated integrally (Otegbulu and Adewumi, 2008). An ideal neighbourhood should be provided with good roads, drainage networks, electricity and portable water supply, good waste management system and security which are all aimed to ensure conducive housing unit.
The condition of these services in Nigeria towns and cities contradicts the principle of sustainability in housing provision. A sustainable housing development would not only have environment friendly and energy efficient buildings, it would also have access to employment, schools, shops, places of entertainment, primary health care, and it would be accessible by public transport.
Adequate supply of housing has remained a mirage to all cadres of the society in Nigeria. Rapid growth in population creates demand pressure towards shelter and efficient supply and distribution of basic utilities and services for city dwellers. In most cities, the problem of housing is not only restricted to quantity but to the poor quality of available housing units. Hence, Infrastructural development play an invaluable role in housing; however things have gone from bad to worse especially in developing countries like Nigeria. Their arises a need thus for a research into the state of infrastructural provisions in housing provision, unraveling the present state of decline, its causalities and, the enactment of probable and sustainable solutions in the light of new technologies.
One major aspect of Nigeria’s problem with respect to housing is the poor state of the infrastructures (Ajanlekoko, 2001). A major challenge to providing adequate housing is the lack of primary infrastructure, as roads, water, electricity, social amenities etc, which accounts for about 30 percent of housing costs. In most cases developers have to provide the infrastructures which in most cases falls short of the standards in terms of quality and quantity — as a means of cutting costs.
Current finance for housing provision and infrastructural development is inadequate both in terms of capital resources and of lending policies and conditions compared with the types of income and borrowing capacity of the large majority of States in Nigeria.
Lack of funds alone is not a root cause of poor infrastructural development and services. It is a symptom of more fundamental problems. These include instability, lack of confidence, distorted economic policies, and difficulties of governance. The mobilization of public and private funds of infrastructural development depends, in the long run, on the alleviation of these problems.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Literature on housing provision have tend to focus more on issues of policy, finance, and economics of housing provision, issues such as infrastructures are treated en-passant. However as the demand for quality housing is on the increase researchers are on the outlook for ways to present housing from a comprehensive perspective. The role of infrastructural development in housing provision cannot be overemphasized and should not be treated as a last minute consideration. The study aims at evaluating the effect of infrastructural development on provision of housing in Nigeria with a view to provide policy makers and other stake holders the required information needed to evaluate and review the effectiveness of policies and delivery strategies and also provide a framework for enforcing enacted guidelines in view of achieving sustainable developments in the housing sector thereby ascertaining the sustainability of the housing environment.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
HO: There is no significant relationship between infrastructural development and provision of housing
HA: There is significant relationship between infrastructural development and provision of housing
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the level of infrastructural development in Nigeria and its subsequent effect on the provision of affordable and conducive housing environment.
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Ajanlekoko, J. S. (2001). Sustainable Housing Development in Nigeria – The Financial and Infrastructural Implication. International Conference on Spatial Information for Sustainable Development Nairobi, Kenya.
Amis, D. and Kumar (2000). Urban economic growth, infrastructure, and poverty in India: Lessons from Visakhapatnam, Environment and Urbanization. Vol. 12 (1).
Donald, C. S. (1974). Professional Education in Public Works / Environmental Engineering Administration 5th ed. Chicago. American Public works and Association. (July/August): 30–32.
Fox, W. F. (1994). “Strategic Options for Urban Infrastructure Management”. Urban Management Programme (UMP) Paper 17. The World Bank pp7.
Frank, I. (2003). The state of Urban Infrastructures in Nigeria. Atlantis Books, Ibadan. Nigeria
Sullivan, A. and Sheffrin, M. S. (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Nubi, T.O (2003). ‘Procuring, Managing and Financing Urban Infrastructure: Towards an Integrated Approach Land Management and Property Tax Reform in Nigeria, in `Omirin et al(ed.) Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos, Akoka.
Otegbulu, A and Adewumi, Y. (2008). “Evaluating the Sustainability of Urban Housing in Nigeria through Innovative Infrastructural Management”, International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 2, No. 4, Pp. 334-346.
Fulmer, Jeffrey (2009). What in the world is infrastructure? PEI Infrastructure Investor (July/August): 30–32.
Yomi, F. (2003). Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development in Nigeria. Atlantis Books, Ibadan. Nigeria.
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