A vested with the mandate to clear the

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A major feature which distinguishes urban growth in developing
countries has been the growth of informal settlements, and despite initiatives
being made by dwellers and ongoing formal housing programmes to check the
spread of informal settlements, the deterioration of existing houses in Lagos
State is alarming and the construction of new houses becoming lower by the day.
Greater percentages of the population are currently overcrowded and live at an
average density of 2.6 persons per room. This is a result of the inefficiency
of the formal sector and low level of the semi-formal and informal sectors.

There are as
many as 200 different slums in Lagos, ranging in size from clusters of shacks
underneath highways to entire districts such as Ajegunle, Maroko and Mushin
(Gandy, 2006). (Morka, 2007) notes that, over two-thirds of the population of
Lagos lives in the “informal settlements or slums scattered around the

The rise of these
informal settlements with its attendant problems led to the establishment of
the Lagos Executive Development Board which was vested with the mandate to
clear the city of informal settlements, however, with little success.
Successive federal and state governments had also taken several measures to “establish
the necessary institutional frameworks to radically transform” Lagos into
a functional megacity (Ilesanmi, 2009). Some of the main measures taken thus
far have included the creation of specialized agencies both at national and
state levels to handle issues concerning housing for the urban poor and of
specific housing policies designed to increase the provision of appropriate and
affordable housing in Lagos. The federal and state governments have also engaged
in forceful evictions of settlers of informal settlements. Such evictions have however
been inappropriate and ineffective and rather than reducing the growth of
informal settlements.

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It is in the
light of the above that several recommendations have been made by urban
planners for improved housing quality and structure in Lagos, through the
upgrading of existing informal settlements, the facilitation of low
interest-rate mortgages and the subsidization of housing materials. Despite these
recommendations, not much has been done and existing recommendations even when
applied have had little bearing on informal settlements and has led to the
expansion of existing informal settlements with more difficult dimensions
rather than reducing them. The effects of this is that it has led to increased
pollution, increase in crime rates, overshadowing of existing of formal
settlement thereby affecting housing quality. This calls for concerted or
integrative methods or approaches that can help reduce the growth of new
informal settlements or stall the expansion of existing ones through an
upgrading mechanism. This is the gap this study intends to fill by addressing
the underlying issues and proffering a laudable framework for improving housing
quality and ensure that people get better living conditions. 

Categories: Construction


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