Need for cooperative houses in Nigeria

Housing is a place of permanent residence. It is an enclosure to protect against bad weather (burning sun and wet rain). It is a protective element of lives and property and a guide against external aggressions. Dwelling or a house is a zone of comfort and a bundle of joy. As a basic human need and the most expensive composite good, everyone wants to have their own home. The house is a common denominator in the life of man. In all the tribes of Nigeria, a man is not a real or complete man if he has no house. A man who lives in another man’s house is despised!

That is why every mature man looks forward to the day when he will have his own home. In the past, houses were made of locally sourced earthen building materials (laterite or mud or mastic soil) as wall materials, tree stems for the roof structure, and raffia palm fronds as the covering. of roof. Toilets, bathroom and kitchen are not in the building. In most cases, a makeshift structure serves as the kitchen and bathroom while the toilet is the closest bush. In the early 1950s and into the late 1960s, wealthy Nigerians adopted molded bricks as masonry materials and cement-sand (mortar) mixed with water at a ratio of 1:6 as the binder of bricks, sawn boards as roof elements (structure) and galvanized sheets as roof covering.

In the Southwest, the cooperative building method is known as “owe bibe” or “aro gbigba”. While ‘owe bibe’ is a social exercise, ‘aro gbigba’ is a cooperative exercise in which a recipient must serve others. This means that each member of a community is involved in building the house of an individual member of the community. While the men dig up the earth to expose the laterite or mud below, mix the materials for the walls and shape them, the women will be in charge of fetching water, transporting off-site materials like wood and raffia sheets on the site. and cooking for all the workers. Housing was considered a social good and a basic property for living.

Family ties were very strong and the community leader saw the provision of housing for all qualified residents as a necessity for the entire community. The population of the community was manageable and everyone knew each other. No one sold land and buildings, because everyone has their own house. Modernization and relocation of family members to areas where he or she is not part of the family has led to “rent at will”. People started living in other people’s properties after leaving their birthplace in search of better living conditions or “golden fleece”. Rents were generally not collected because each is the keeper of his brothers and sisters.

Houses are now instruments of investment in that people now build on purpose to rent them out to others and periodically collect the rent. Not everyone finds it easy to buy their own properties due to the huge unique fund involved. This is why it is necessary to plead in favor of the practice of cooperative houses. Cooperative houses involve the purchase or construction of a property by more than one person and derive an income (rent) from it, which will be shared by the investors according to the ratio of their investments, or in which one person will occupy the house and will continue to contribute for the acquisition of goods for the other cooperators.

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It’s a principle that works on the maxim, “time and tide wait for no one”. If five people (co-operators) can bring money together and buy property now, that’s better than individual non-co-operators saving for years to buy individual properties. Many a person who has purchased a property today will begin to receive income and capital gains as soon as they take possession of the property. To become a housing cooperator, you have to bring together minds and people you know who earn regular income. A cooperative name must be formed and registered with the cooperative department in the state in which the cooperative housing will be located. Each cooperator will contribute a regular and fixed amount for the purchase or construction of a house.

A member can occupy this house while contributing to the purchase or construction of the houses of the other members, or the house can be rented and the investment continues until the houses can go around to all the cooperators . This exercise will continue until all members have their own house. This is an easy way for self-help people to get homes they can call their own. A professional real estate surveyor and appraiser will be willing to serve as a consultant to any housing co-op.

  • ESV. Femi Oyedele, property surveyor and appraiser, writes from Lagos

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Virginia S. Braud