Relationship Between Economic Development And The Rise In Substandard / Illegal Constructions In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Materials for Civil Engineering CE

Relationship Between Economic Development And The Rise In Substandard / Illegal Constructions In Nigeria


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Shelter has been one of man’s most basic necessities throughout his evolutionary path. Our oldest predecessors, primitive man, built shelters to shield themselves from the whims of nature as well as the menace of wild animals and fellow humans. The majority of the literature on human settlement and housing gained sufficient popularity during the industrial revolution and urbanization that swept over Europe and, subsequently, the United States of America. London was the largest metropolis in Europe during the beginning of the industrial age, with a population of just approximately 500,000 people. Within two centuries, however, London’s population surged thirteen times, to about 6.5 million (Chandler & Fox, 1974).

The improvement of an economy and the ever increasing urban growth caused by rural to urban migration were the index for the rapid transformation of everything rural to urban. However, this enormous migration of people simply overwhelmed the capacity and abilities of the cities to absorb them.

Lack of adequate housing was and is still a major social problem that is greatly troubling among city dwellers. Most especially to the poor living in the cities who cannot afford the rising costs of buildings, illegal buildings certainly appeal to them.

The rise of illegal construction in developing countries like Nigeria is a thing of worry and priority for her national government and all stakeholders.

According to Town Planning regulations, buildings or alterations to structures made without the prior approval of the Planning Authority are considered illegal building works, such as the illegal construction of metal cages, air-conditioning cooling towers, canopies, rooftop structures, flat subdivision, structural alternations, and drainage connections (Aderonke & Funsho 2020). All unlawful construction projects are subject to destruction.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

(Mbano, Nwadiaro 2012) observed that the increase in urban population in recent years has been linked to the development and non development of the cities and their village counterparts. Especially in developing countries like Nigeria, the urban centers remain the cynosure of attraction among the rural dwellers, pushing them in their regions in search of greener pastures. Unfortunately, the cities carrying capacities (support system) usually do not meet the infrastructural and resource need of these new immigrants.

According to (Adegoke 1989), the proliferation and development of shanty or slum communities to suit the housing demands of the urban poor is a primary result of this unfortunate state of affairs. Many urban people, unable to afford suitable living quarters due to the high cost of building their own dwellings, excessive house rent, costly acquisition of urban properties, and so on, have sought sanctuary in slums, despite their non conducive environment.

Illegal structures have also increased in major Nigerian cities as a result of rising poverty, failed government policies, and capitalist forces such as globalization, which has made the urban poor’s plight worse. Without active national government intervention and effective policies, rapid unplanned illegal structures will exacerbate what is already a human disaster, as slum life consists of insecure employment, state persecution and eviction, a miserable existence, and extreme poverty. Illegal constructions or buildings are known for destroying the landscape and aesthetics through environmental degradation such as erosion, indiscriminate trash disposal, open defecation, and other practices (Brockerhoff 2000).


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between economic development and the rise in substandard/ illegal buildings in Nigeria. The other aims of this study are:

  1. The impacts of the rise of illegal constructions on the landscape
  2. The causes of illegal constructions rapid growth in Nigeria
  3. The characteristics of illegal buildings in Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the impacts of the rise of illegal constructions on the landscape?
  2. What are the causes of illegal constructions rapid growth in Nigeria?
  3. What are the characteristics of illegal constructions/ buildings in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense help to the society as it will let us be aware of the causes of the rapid growth of illegal constructions and buildings in Nigeria. This study will also be of importance to the government as it will examine the relationship between economic development and the rise in substandard/ illegal buildings in Nigeria and will also point out the areas of deficiency and will help to create effective policies that will combat this rising problem. This study will also be beneficial to the society as it will show the implications of illegal buildings on the landscape and the environment.

Finally, this study will serve as an existing material for future reference and further research.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on examining the relationship between economic development and the rise in substandard/ illegal buildings in Nigeria. It will also find out the impacts of illegal buildings on the landscape, it will further look at the causes of the rapid rise of illegal buildings in Nigeria.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

This study was done and carried out only in Lagos state and as such the results of this research cannot be used in any other part of Nigeria and the world as a whole as the reasons, causes and impacts of illegal buildings differ due to geographical position, cultural belief and social tendencies.

This study is not proffering solutions or how to combat the rise of illegal buildings and its impacts on the economy. This study will also only be focusing on illegal buildings and the economy and this serves as a delimitation to this study. This study will only focus on Lagos State and no other state. The financial constraints faced during the course of this research and will also serve as a delimitation to this study.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Illegal Buildings:

Construction without a valid construction permit

Relationship:

A situation where two or more things are connected

Economic Development:

Is the creation of wealth from which community benefits are realized.


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