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Moving from Multi-Billion Naira Housing Budgets to Improved Housing Delivery in Imo State

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The study gauges Imo governments’ commitment to the provision of shelter for citizens by comparing the budgetary allocation for housing development between 2010 to 2017 to the actual number of units added to the housing stock in the state during the referenced period. Measuring state commitment was undertaken by examining the following questions in great depth:

  • How much does Imo budget for housing development annually?
  • How many housing units are built every year, and added to the housing stock?
  • Is there any correlation between the budget share for housing infrastructure and the actual supply of livable units?
  • Are there policies and mechanisms in place that enable the low-income, the very poor and vulnerable families in greatest need of shelter to have access to them?


The housing deficit in Nigeria is estimated at 17 to 20 million housing units, increasing annually by 900, 000 units, with a potential cost of N60 trillion (US$16 billion) needed to fill this gap. Population growth has moved up astronomically growing from 140 million people in 2006 to almost 200 million people in 2018. As with other states of the federation beset with the widening housing deficit, Imo’s rapid population growth is unmatched with the sufficiency of resources to adequately accommodate the rising infrastructural demands of citizens. Nigeria’s huge housing deficits starkly contrasts with the constitutional assurances of legal protection against housing deprivation.  Specifically, Article 14 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights powerfully complements Sections 43 and 44 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution in affording legal protections for social and economic rights, especially the right to property.

This disparity between human rights policy and practice in Nigeria is one of the gaps that Spaces for Change seeks to fill through research advocacy. The organization proceeds upon the premise that it is not enough for social and economic rights provisions to be contained in constitutional or legal documents and nothing more. Rather, human rights can only have serious meaning when governments at all levels genuinely commit to maximize available resources to progressively provide shelter to citizens particularly those that are at the lower rung of the social and economic ladder.

With a focus on Imo State, the research generates evidence-based data for understanding Nigeria’s housing crisis, taking into account the peculiarities of the state in terms of annual budgets, population size, revenue generation capabilities and geographical characteristics. It is hoped that the findings of this study will provide Imo government with an independent performance analysis of the housing sector which can form the baseline for initiating critical reforms in the state. The aim of the report would have been achieved if it guides state executives in decision-making and priority-setting while influencing a positive effect on attitudes to public spending.

Download the report below.

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