Nigeria holds the unenviable position of having the highest number of homeless individuals worldwide. Recent data from the World Population Review reveals that over 24 million Nigerians lack proper housing, sparking a nationwide homelessness crisis.
The report underscores that Nigeria’s population, Africa’s most populous, grapples with widespread homelessness, affecting millions who lack access to basic services. The country is not inherently impoverished; rather, the problem is related to issues like wealth distribution, exploitation by external actors, and governance.
Nigeria’s size leads to significant population movement, with both immigration and emigration causing frequent shifts in property ownership. While this can attract investment, it often results in gentrification as new investors seek to build more upscale properties for higher returns.
Nigeria Tops Global Homelessness Rankings
In a ranking of 85 countries based on homelessness rates, Nigeria ranks first with a staggering 26.70%. Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, DR Congo, and Bangladesh also feature prominently on the list.
Experts attribute the decline in homeownership rates in Nigeria to factors like high inflation, mortgage rates, flooding, and building collapses. The homeownership rate has dropped from 25% to 20% in 2023.
Challenges in Addressing Homelessness in Nigeria
Challenges in addressing homelessness in Nigeria are intertwined with affordability and availability issues. Poverty, which affects 63% of the population, poses a significant obstacle to affordable housing and homeownership.
Experts advocate for a comprehensive approach to boost homeownership, including incentives for first-time homeowners, such as grants and low-interest loans. Collaborative efforts between the government and private developers are crucial for constructing budget-friendly housing units nationwide.
Global Homeownership Disparities
Nigeria’s 20% homeownership rate falls far behind global standards. Countries like the United States (72%), the United Kingdom (68%), Laos (96%), Romania (95%), and even war-torn Vietnam (90%) have significantly higher homeownership rates, underscoring the need for progress in addressing homelessness and affordable housing in Nigeria.