The need for shelter has been classified as a fundamental human right, it is so important to all humans irrespective of status or socio-economic strata. According to Maslow, its one of the basic needs for human survival. We can go and on to enumerate the importance of shelter but however with a housing deficit of 17 million units, it portends that availability of a comfortable shelter can be termed as a luxury in Nigeria especially in Lagos.
With a burgeoning middleclass in major cities like Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja, all competing for the choice properties for rent at prime locations, rents charged for occupants can sometimes be unreasonable. With about 70% of jobs concentrated in Lagos Island and Victoria Island areas, shelters close to these locations are most times in high demand in rents being as expensive as N 3 Million per annum in areas like Ikoyi, Gbagada and Ogudu environs. For most employees, it has been proven that they spend 50% of their annual income on rents and school fees. While School Fees iss a must as we all want our children to succeed, tent is a choice and ownonh a shelter is a must for all of us at least before we retire. So what should we do? – Build a house or buy one .
In building a house, the first step is to purchase a land, while there is a variety of locations to buy land in Lagos and its environs, there are four popular areas that are rapidly interesting first time ownerqs; Badagry axis is a major option owing to the massive infrastructural development along the Mile 2- Badagry axis (Rail an massive road expansion). Also of importance is the Ikorodu and environs, which currently has a large burgeoning population and massive metro-line, which when completed would ease traffic congestion along that line. Also popular is Mowe-Ibafo-Ofada axis along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, which is experiencing serious inflow of resident, with a massive road rehabilitation and expansion that would make accessibility better. Lastly is Lekki-Epe environs, a rapidly expanding residential area with lots of opportunities such as new Airport, Dangote Refinery and 4 th Mainland Bridge.
However the twists and turns in developing a property is a huge source of concern to many 1st time home owners, from the brouhaha of securing your land from the òmò ónìlès to mustering courage and resources to go the long haul is heavily tasking. Llikwise, the management of engineer-on-site as well as unskilled labourers can be inundating. With it comes safeguarding of the material resources from theft (e.g. Cement, Iron Rods, Planks, etc) as well as known sharp practices of over-inflating prices of materials and sometimes under-delivering on the quantity. Cousing to this is the use of sub-standard materials in a bid to increase profit, this is a quite common sharp practice among builders and artisans.
Of more importance is supervision time, it is noted that 60% of artisans would not work to agreed specification thereby necessitating a re-work in one way or the other. Useful time needs to be dedicated and an average of bi-weekly visits is compulsory. With most first-time owners building in suburbs, while living in the city, enormous amount of time is spent in traffic and commuting.
The reasons above constitute to the high number of uncompleted building projects.
Moreso, it is proven that the average time for completing a residential building project is between 4 – 5 years (from purchasing the land to project completion), it is economical to factor in the five-year rent paid before moving to the new home as an opportunity cost, a fund that can surely pay for some years of mortgage.