International Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Vol. 1, No. 3, August 2015 Publish Date: Aug. 23, 2015 Pages: 121-130

Analysis of Slum Situation in Three Selected Cities of Osun State, Nigeria

Oyeniyi S. O.1, Owoeye J. O.2, *, Ibimilua A. F.3

1Department of Urban & Regional Planning, Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, Osun State, Nigeria

2Department of Urban & Regional Planning, School of Environmental Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria

3Department of Geography & Planning Science, Faculty of The Social Sciences, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria


Slums are not the same; they differ in outlook, size, characteristics, and more importantly, level of deprivation. Improved water sanitation, sufficient living space, durable housing and secured tenure or combinations thereof are used to identify measured slums. This paper focuses on investigating slum situation in Osun State, with a focus on three selected cities – Osogbo, Ilesa and Ile-Ife. These are ancient cities in the State. A total of 300 questionnaires were distributed to slum residents and city planners in the three cities, out of which 266 were retrieved in usable form for the purpose of statistical analysis for the study. Both descriptive and inferential statistical tools were used in data analysis. Findings reveal the precarious situation of shelter, drinking water, sanitation, living space and infrastructural facilities in the cities investigated. Using empirical and physical evidences via questionnaire interview, observation and photo-snaps; the study revealed that slum areas in the cities are highly degraded. Hence, the need for improved housing, portable water, tenure security, better infrastructures, urban services and provision of income generating activities for slum residents and effective environmental management become highly imperative to ameliorate the appalling conditions of the slum dwellers in the cities.


Slum, Sanitation, Portable Water, Urban Service, Environmental Management, Osun State

1. Introduction

In Africa, cities have history going back to some 5,000 years. They were first established on the floodplain of the River Nile soon after Neolithic man discovered that art of farming. The alluvial soils of the wide river valley were extremely fertile and gave abundant supply of food to support a non-farming population in the cities. Perhaps the most striking characteristic of African cities is their capacity for rapid growth. This has meant an increasingly wide range in their size distribution, from the small town to the multi-million city. Hence, one of the primary attractions of cities in modern Africa is that they offer hopes of tremendous employment opportunities as well as the glamour of a new and more exciting way of life. These expectations often lead many people to migrate from rural areas to the cities (Mabogunje, 1996).

Rapid urbanization therefore, has several advantages but also brings a number of challenges many of which stem from rural population influx into cities to find a new lease of life (Mtungila, 2006). Cities, ‘the magnets of hope’ are seriously pulling able body rural dwellers without been ready to accommodate them. The presence of these migrants creates new problems in the cities or aggravates existing ones (Mabogunje, 1996). The consequences of this, among others include inadequate housing, urban poverty, food shortage, insecure tenure, decay in basic amenities, increased crime rate, overcrowding, high mortality rate inequality and development of informal settlements, one of which is slum. By 2030, an estimated 5 billion people will live in cities about 2 billion of them will live in slum, primarily in Africa and Asia, lacking access to clean drinking water, surrounded by desperation and crime (Dung-Gwom, 2001).  A recent United Nations Habitat Report (2012) says 327 million people lives in slum in a quarter of commonwealth countries (11million in Africa, 2 million in Asia and  1 million in Pacific) one or two out of three urban dwellers live in slum and many of these countries are urbanizing rapidly (Ramesh, 2011). According to Davis (2012); already, slum are huge, over 80% of Nigerian urban population or some 120 million people live in slums, the comparable number in India are 56% and 158.4 million. Many of these slum dwellers are squatters, lacking legal right to the property they occupy.

In Nigeria, the process of slum formation accelerated after world-war II, the time coincided with era of oil discovery when the able bodied rural dwellers were pulled by the city life.  The slums that were formed across the country were not the same; they differ not only in origin but also in the physical outlook. They were not also restricted to any particular section of our cities but also spread across the country. According to National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER, 1982), slum in colonial headquarters are situated at the central areas of the cities with houses compacted, they lack planning and are highly populated. Typical examples are the slum areas in Benin and Ibadan.  But slum in Enugu was due to extension of city into the rural villages. (Okoye, 2009) In the same vain, slum in Kano are worst around major commercial areas where local materials like grasses were used to construct shops that also doubled as residential houses (Salawu, 1990).

2. Definition of Slum and Literature Review

Slum is a heavily populated urban area characterized by substandard housing and squalor. This definition encapsulates the essential characteristics of slums to include high densities and low standards of housing (structure and services), and squalor. As observed in Obayomi (2012) and Owoeye (2013), the first two criteria are physical and spatial while the third is social and behavioural. This spread of associations is unique, not just for the definition of slums but also of our perceptions of them. Definition of slum includes the traditional meaning; that is, housing areas that were once respectable or even desirable, but which have since deteriorated as the original dwellers have moved to new and better areas of the cities. The condition of the old houses has then declined and the units have been progressively subdivided and rented out to lower-income groups. Typical examples are the inner-city slums of many towns and cities in both the developed and the developing countries. Slums, however, have included the vast informal settlements that are quickly becoming the most visible expression of urban poverty in developing world cities, including squatter settlements and illegal subdivisions. The quality of dwellings in such settlements varies from the simplest shack to permanent structures while access to water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services and infrastructure is usually limited. Such settlements are referred to by a wide range of names and include a variety of tenure arrangements.

The term slum is considered an easily understandable catch-all; it disguises the fact that within this and other terms lay a multitude of different settlements and communities. Hence, slums can be divided into two broad classes – Slums of Hope and Slums of Despair.

Slums of Hope: These are ‘progressing’ settlements which are characterized by new self-built structures, usually illegal (e.g. squatters) that is in or has recently gone through a process of development, consolidation and improvement.

Slums of Despair: These are ‘declining’ neighbourhoods in which environmental conditions and domestic services are undergoing a process of degeneration. Unfortunately, the history of inner-city slum areas in Europe, North America and Australia has exhibited this in the absence of appropriate interventions. Slums of hope may all too easily yield to despair, a self-reinforcing condition that may be maintained for a very long time.

Most slum residents engage in eking out their daily lives below the poverty line by working as construction labourers, domestic helps, beggars, commercial sex workers, wheel-barrow pushers, scavengers and even destitute. The living conditions are utterly unhygienic gloomy, dismal and dehumanizing (Ramesh, 2010). Slums are the product of failed policies and planning, bad governance, corruption, inappropriate regulations, dysfunctional land markets, unresponsive financial systems and a fundamental lack of political will.  Each of these failures adds to the toll of people already deeply burdened with poverty. This frustrated the enormous potential for human development that opportunities in urban life offer. Hence, the need for good quality urban environment and the desire to improve and protect the health of the urban dwellers has become an issue of global concern especially in the exploding cities of the third world (Izeogu, 1989; Owoeye and Emmanuel, 2014). Legislative and conventional planning approaches have failed to tackle the worsening living conditions in many of our cities in Nigeria. Existing measures have not gone far enough in providing the type of urban environments conducive of realising the benefits of living in urban area nor capable of enhancing the functional efficiency of urban areas and the inhabitants. Most third world cities manifest serious problems of filth, blight and squalor (Dung-Gwom and Oladosu, 2004). The World Bank in 1992, described slums as housing that fall below a certain level that is necessary to contribute to human development. Okoye (1979), Izeogu (1989) and Salawu (1990) saw slums as areas that suffer from the under provision of public amenities and social disorganization. The importance of qualitative housing, safe and health urban environment for the poor in the sprawling slums of third world cities need not be overemphasized.

People residing in slums in Nigeria cities face many problems like improper sanitation, unhygienic environmental conditions, social, economics, health, educational and cultural problems, lack of basic amenities like portable drinking water, proper housing, drainage and excreta disposal services make slum population vulnerable to infections and outbreak of severe epidemics (Owoeye and Omole, 2012). The on-going process of rapid urbanization has deleterious repercussions on health and nutrition, especially for children. Malnutrition in young children has affected the rate of attendance at school and has long-term negative effects on physical and cognitive development. In dense (overcrowded) urban condition, it is often difficult for people to find space to build latrines. Many have to defecate in the open or share whatever limited facilities available or squat in neighbouring houses which tend to offer no privacy, safety or adequate hygiene (Asad, 2012; Owoeye and Emmanuel, 2014). Human waste and collection of refuse in stagnant pools spread diseases and contaminate water sources. The problem is made worse during the wet season when refuse and faeces are washed into cramped living areas. In these conditions, it is virtually impossible to remain healthy and clean.  Disease spread rapidly among the crowded conditions and the little money that slum dwellers earn often has to be spent on medicines to help the sick recover.  Often, these settlements are unofficial and so, without any legal tenure, the people living there are not entitled to get connected to basic facilities like safe water and good sanitation.

Furthermore, these settlements are vulnerable to demolition as government reclaims the illegality of occupied lands for other public uses (Ramash, 2010). Slums also negate expected needs for decent, beautiful and well planned cities. Many children in the slums start work at a very early stage on dumps to retrieve anything that can be sold, selling newspapers in traffic jams, peddling drugs or begging, domestic helps as house maids, sex workers while there are some who are destitute of where to live. They are at risk of exploitation and vulnerable to all forms of health problems. Mostly, informal settlements are ruled by Mafia-slum-lords who usually have no empathy for slum residents.

3. The Study Area

The study is carried out in three selected cities of Osun State, in south-western Nigeria. The cities include Osogbo, Ilesa and Ile-Ife. Each of the cities serves as headquarters for two local government areas (see Figure 2). They also house higher institutions of learning, various banking institutions and media houses. The cities are mainly populated by Yorubas, who cohabite peacefully with other tribes and nationalities. Farming, trading, artisanship are the major occupations of these well over 4.3 million people as inferred from National Population Commission (NPC, 2006).

4. Materials and Methods

This research adopts the following five indices of slum investigation according to UN-Habitat (2012) definition of slum (i.e. a group of individuals living together under the same roof lacking one or more of the following):

1    Durable housing of a permanent nature that can protect against extreme climate condition;

2    Sufficient living space with not more than three persons in a room;

3    Easy access to safe water in sufficient amount and at affordable price;

4    Access to adequate sanitation in the room of public or private toilet sheared by a reasonable number of people; and

5    Security of tenure that prevents forced evictions.

Each of these indices was assessed on a weighted index score of maximum of 10. Slum was then ranked on the basis of total weighted average score. Three slums with least scores in each of the cities which indicated worst condition were selected to form samples for the study as shown in Table 1

The research undertook a reconnaissance survey to examine critically the environment of the three selected cities, with the purpose of identifying slum areas and statistically selecting the worst three areas in each city. These nine worst slum areas formed the sample frame for the research. Using systematic sampling technique, thirty copies of structured questionnaire were administered on the 5thhouses, mainly the house-heads in each of the nine slum areas. This amounts to 270 for the three cities. Besides, 10 copies were administered on planning authorities under which the study areas fall, making a total of 280 copies of questionnaires that were used in all which was analysed using descriptive statistical tool.

Figure 1. OSUN State in the National Setting.

Source: Osun State Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, Osogbo (2013)

Figure 2. Locational Map of the Three Cities investigated in the Study.

Source: Osun State Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, Osogbo (2013)

Table 1. Aggregate Score for Basic Facilities in Slum Areas of the Three Selected Cities.

Cities Durable Housing Sufficient Living Space Access to Potable Water Good Sanitation Security of Tenure Total
Osogbo 21 21 21 21 20 104
Ilesa 19 21 15 14 17 86
Ile-Ife 16 19 16 12 17 80
Total 56 61 52 47 54 270

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013).

5. Research Findings and Discussion

The study examined factors responsible for the formation of slums in three cities in Osun State and the state of basic facilities available therein. Out of 270 questionnaires administered to household-heads, 266 were retrieved which was used in the analysis.

5.1. Socio-Economic Characteristics of Respondents

Table 2 shows the Socio-economic characteristics of respondents in the three selected cities of Osun State in terms of their age, sex, marital status, educational level, occupation and income distribution pattern. As shown in the table; 73.3% of the sampled respondents fall within the working class, active and independent age group between 18-55 years. It was also revealed that 26.7% of the respondents are above 55 years who are mostly dependants. About 42.3% of the respondents are married while 22.2% are singles. Others fall in the category of Divorced (21.3%) and Widow/Widowers (15%). About 57.9% are female while 42.1% are males. This may not be totally disconnected from economic reasons, low life expectancy and infidelity which are common factors to all the slum areas examined. One of the major factors that determine the kind of occupation someone engages-in is the highest level of education one attained. It also affects social status, probably type of environment one lives in as well as level of exposure, which will eventually cumulate in level of income one earns. As shown in the table; 33.5% do not have formal education, 21.1% have adult education while 16.2% did not go beyond primary school. Only 6% have tertiary education while 23.3% attain secondary education. About 51.5% of the respondents are artisans while 30.5% are into petty trading, 10.0% claimed to be students while 2.3% are unemployed. In view of this, income distributions show that 54.1% earn less than #18,000 which is the minimum wage in Nigeria as at 2014. About 38.3% earn between #19000 and #40000 while 2.3% earn between #41,000 and #60000. Only 5.3% earn #61,000 and above. Invariably only this category of respondent (5.3%) falls within the middle class. This comprises of established business and property owners. Therefore, those earning below the living wage are the majority despite their house and family-head status. This is a clear indication of extreme poverty in slum neighbourhoods.

Table 2. Socio-Economic Characteristics of Respondents.

Variables Frequency Percentage
Age Distribution    
Less than 18years 7 2.6
19 – 36 years 92 34.6
37 – 55 years 96 36.1
Above 55 years 71 26.7
Total 266 100.0
Sex Distribution    
Male 112 42.1
Female 154 57.9
Total 266 100.0
Marital Status    
Single 59 22.2
Married 110 42.3
Divorced 57 21.3
Widow/Widower 40 15.0
Total 266 100.0
Educational Level    
No Formal Education 89 33.5
Adult Education 56 21.1
Primary School 43 16.2
Secondary School 62 23.3
Tertiary Education 16 6.0
Total 266 100.0
Occupational Distribution    
Artisan 137 51.5
Student 29 10.9
Civil Servant 13 4.9
Trader 81 30.5
Unemployed 6 2.3
Total 266 100.0
Income Distribution    
Less than #18000 144 54.1
#20,000 - #40,000 102 38.3
#41,000 - #60,000 6 2.3
Above #60,000 14 5.3
Total 266 100.0

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013)

One of the major challenges of slum is related to tenure system and the fear of forceful eviction. In contrast, 51.0% of residents own the property by inheritance and they are permanent residents. The remaining 47.0% who are migrants, majorly from north (the Hausas) rented the remaining apartments on a room-by-room basis in the ratio of 4-6 persons per these inhabitable rooms.

5.2. Socio-Cultural Characteristics of Slums Area in the Three Selected Cities

As noted earlier, worst slums selected for the study are located in the core of the cities, close to king’s palaces where the socio-cultural activities like idol worshiping and traditional festivals like Osun Osogbo, Ogun in Ilesa, Olojo at Ile-Ife. These activities take place mainly at or around the core areas simply because the shrines and worship centers locate within core neighbourhood. Besides, slum neighbourhoods are overcrowded during the season, resulting in dirtier environments after the festive celebrations.

The slum areas under consideration are mainly inhabited by poor indigenes and the Hausa migrants from the northern part of Nigeria. These migrants were forced out of their traditional homes by extreme poverty. They became most elusive since they have no training and better jobs. They are mainly construction labourers, domestic helpers, rag changers, wheel-barrow pushers, plastic menders, petty traders and scavengers. The poor local people also join the migrants in the jobs. Interactions with health officers in Jaleyemi Hospital, Osogbo; Wesley Guild Teaching Hospital, Ilesa and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTHC) Ile-Ife reveal that 90.0% of their outpatient is from slum neighbourhoods. Common ailments include cholera, typhoid, malaria and diarrhoea, especially among children and women. These diseases are contacted through faecal materials of oral routes via contaminated water which ensued from unsafe water situation, flood and erosion. Table 3 reveals the trend of peoples’ response to slum condition in the area.

Table 3. General characteristics of slum and peoples’ opinion on the study areas.

S/N Items Investigated SA A D SD
Freq. % Freq. % Freq. % Freq. %
1. Satisfied with house condition 8 3.0 61 22.9 60 22.6 137 51.5
2. Satisfied with condition of environment 6 2.3 55 20.7 58 21.8 147 55.3
3. Immediate environment sufficiently spaced 9 3.4 61 22.9 136 51.1 60 22.6
4. Above three  persons per room in the area 40 15.0 144 54.1 68 25.6 14 5.3
5. Good toilet facilities in the area 17 6.4 67 25.2 67 25.2 115 43.2
6. Defecation in any available space. 114 42.9 40 15.0 67 25.2 45 16.9
7. Area sometimes flooded during the rainy season 105 39.5 68 25.6 79 29.7 14 5.3
8. Adequate kitchen space 16 6.0 78 29.3 113 42.5 59 22.2
9. Access to safe water 22 8.3 57 21.4 64 24.1 123 46.2
10. Malaria is rampant in the area 100 37.6 68 25.6 70 26.3 28 10.5
11. Children often die of sickness 38 14.3 116 43.6 85 32.0 27 10.2
12. There are good hospitals around 30 11.3 150 56.4 67 25.2 19 7.1
13. Hospital bills are affordable 16 6.0 62 23.3 44 16.5 144 54.1
14. Opt for self-medication or traditional help when sick 109 41.0 75 28.2 53 19.9 29 10.9
15. There is good security in the area 20 7.5 63 23.7 99 37.2 84 31.6
16. Houses in the area are often made of mud or brick 63 23.7 118 44.4 60 22.6 25 9.4
17. Houses in the area need major renovation 111 41.7 82 30.8 49 18.4 24 9.0
18. Some houses are made of plank and aluminium 13 4.9 77 28.9 150 56.4 26 9.8

* SA – Strongly Agreed; A – Agreed; D – Disagreed; SD – Strongly Disagreed.

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013)

5.3. Housing and Infrastructural Conditions in the Study Area

As stipulated in National Building Code of Nigeria; acceptable housing consists of two rooms, a kitchen, a toilet and shower covering not less than 38.5m2, built with conventional and durable materials. It also stipulates that houses must not be back-to-back with another dwelling. The wall must be able to withstand a certain force and measure of resistance. Thus, housing condition examined in the study area does not, in any way, conform to this standard. Over 80.0% of the houses are built with mud, most of which are built over 100 years ago. Some of these houses are dilapidated, part of some are already collapsed. Reasons observed are mainly attached to poor standard and low quality of building materials, old age and effects of flooding and erosion. The inhabitants defecate in available open spaces because decent toilet facilities are lacking in so many buildings, so also the bathroom and kitchen facilities. Many squat in neighbouring houses; hence, the inhabitant do not enjoy any personal privacy. Most of the houses serve dual purposes of both residential and commercial; regular informal business activities are daily routine. About 50.0% of those dilapidated houses are owner’s occupier; 49.0% of the dwellers are local people (the indigene) who own the old houses by inheritance from two to three generations away.

Overcrowding in terms of room density is a serious problem in the study area. The rooms are usually small, majority been 8 by 10 feet. In each typical house, bed is sectioned off from the remainder of the room by a hanging curtain. During the day; clothing, blankets and goods are stored on and under bed. The remaining part of the room has few furniture, chair, a low table, a cupboard for dishes and utensils; sometimes, a small bench for settee. During the night; those furniture are pushed against the wall so the children can sleep on blanket, mat or clothes in the tiny floor space. This is particularly bad for the children when the floor is damped during wet season. The rooms are congested and poorly ventilated, especially when cooking is done in the house. Examples of such building are shown in Plate 1.

Plate 1. Sampled Cases of Housing Condition in Slum Area of the Cities Examined.

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013)

5.4. Water Supply, Sanitation and Environmental Condition in the Area

Overwhelming majority (90.0%) of inhabitants of slum areas examined depend on hand-dug wells as source of water supply while about 10.0% depend on rain water or water vendors in kiosk. Most of these wells are not made water tight with cement and not well covered. The situation does not guarantee portable water supply as the water in the well are liable to pollution from dust, dirt and refuse in the surrounding. Untreated sewage do find their way into well through seepage and run-off. Flood enters directly during heavy rainfall because some well are just one foot higher than the earth surface, goat sheep and fowls pass night on wells and their droppings equally enter the wells directly. Also many of the wells are just few meters away from pit latrine and tombs which are repository of filth through which other contaminants pollutes the wells waters.

The slum area fall within the rain forest region of Nigeria with attendant of high rainfall which increases the likelihood of groundwater pollution since the water table will be shallow and there are little or no impermeable weathered materials which may reduce the infiltration. Fetchers use to draw water manually are left on or beside the wells through which water may be polluted. Out of the three cities, only Osogbo has running water as at today but surprisingly, slum in Osogbo is cut out of pipe-borne water supply. In an effort to reduce hardship faced with water situation in the area, there are few bore-hole dug by government. Those few bore-holes are solar powered; they are poorly maintained and are often been crowded by people thereby mounting too much pressure on them. Accessibility to Safe drinking water in the area is costly in term of time and money. Plate 2 shows typical example of water situation in the area.

Plate 2. Condition of Water Supply in Slum Area of the Cities Examined.

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013)

Similarly, the areas are not covered by sanitation services like the other parts of the cities. They often dispose their wastes in open spaces, undeveloped plots as well as drains and drainages; all these facilitate water pollution. Refuse dumped on drains are brought out by run-off during rainfall and are carried into open spaces and frontage of residential buildings thereby distorting the beautiful scenery and aesthetics of those cities aside health implications it has on residents. The refuse dumped in dunghills are burnt polluting the entire environment. Almost all the nine worst slum statistically selected for the study are located in the core areas thereby making them centres of high population concentration with attendant challenges. Plates 3-5 show uncivilized waste disposal methods and prevailing sanitary condition in the study area.

Plate 3. Example of Waste Disposal in open space in the Study Area

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013)

Plate 4. Example of Waste Disposal in Drainages in the Study Area

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013)

Plate 5. Environmental Condition of Residential Buildings in the Area.

Source: Authors’ Field Survey (2013)

6. Summary of Findings, Recommendations and Policy Implications

Slums have existed with human settlements from time immemorial, whether in rural or urban centres in both developed and developing world. Though, this is more serious in developing world than developed countries where poor people are relatively domiciled. The cities of Osogbo, Ilesa and Ile-ife exhibited similarities, no differences in the nature and characteristics of the slum neighbourhoods. They are all located at the city core where socio-economic status of dwellers is almost the same. They all lack adequate access to portable water, sufficient living space, good sanitation and decent housing. Large number of the houses are aged, dilapidated and are in need of urgent renovation or reconstruction. They are confronted with other environmental issues like seepage of liquid wastes and garbage (solid waste) disposal challenges. Pollution of all forms, overcrowded housing and associated housing stresses with their attendant health related problems are potent challenges faced in the area.

Beside the environmental and health challenges, attentions are also focus on social problems that cut across slum areas investigated. Although, majority of dwellers claim to be petty traders or artesian, but it is evident that they are grossly unemployed or underemployed. Many earn less than N18000 monthly, the official living wage in Nigeria. From personal observation and interaction with the people, child labour, drug peddling, anti-social vices are characteristics of children abuse that are common in the neighbourhood. Many of the youths at Ilare in Ile-ife, Oja-oba in Osogbo are typically engrafted in such anti-social activities. Many houses in the areas are unsafe to leave in. They fall below minimum standard some have parts of them collapsed already, windows are permanently blocked with rags, planks iron sheet and other materials while floors are unpaved and the walls are mud. At such, they absorb water from erosion and flood during wet season. The roofs are decaying fast due to old age and can no longer serve their protective purposes. In a nut shell, the situation of the slum areas examined are terrible and in serious need of urgent and holistic attention, not just to salvage the cities from further decay but also to preserve the lives and fortunes of the teaming urban poor struggling to cope with life in slums. Findings revealed that poverty and lack of compliance to master plans are major reasons why slums develop and spread in the area. Hence, planning authority in these areas is unanimous in their decisions to embark on possible improvement strategies. Although forceful eviction and redevelopment may not be the best option, but it seems to be the only viable means to address the situation due to the level of degradation. In the main time, improved economy, compliance to master plan, improved sanitation, infrastructure, security of tenure, and urban services will go a long way in addressing the menace.

According to Dung-Gwom and Oladosu (2004), policy thrust on slums should take into consideration their physical, social and economic characteristics. Arising from this study, immediate and long-time policy measures are recommended for careful consideration and implementation if the appalling condition in these slum areas is to be mitigated. Government at all levels should cooperate with NGOs, international organizations and others to alleviate the poor economic situation of all Nigerians to reduce regional as well as rural-urban migration thereby mitigating the spread of slums in the cities. Establishment of social centres in each slum area that will have free viewing and games, health and counselling units with the main aim of using these centres to recruit youths for economic empowerment programs are potent measures that can be adopted to redeeming the situation in the area. The councillors and health officers will exploit the opportunities presented by these centres to appropriately enlist the youths for skill acquisition programs that will prepare and make them ready for possible employment or establishment of their own businesses. While on training, a stipend of about #9000, equivalent to sixty US dollars can be paid to each trainee monthly to keep them on the training. Sequel to successful completion of the training, they should be helped to start their own workshops and become independent. Besides, small scale industries, and micro-finance scheme can be established.

There should be an improvement of facilities and services like potable water, refuse disposal and management services within accessible locations. Construction of new drains to avoid littering of slum environment, flooding as well as degradation of slum neighbourhood resulting from erosion is equally essential. Institution of weekly environmental sanitation programs and enlightenment campaign on importance of clean, safe and hygienic environment is also very important. Government should narrow down rural-urban inequality within the country to stem the tide of rural-urban and inter-regional migration through creation of economic activities and infrastructural development in rural areas. Land decree of 1979 should be reviewed to enhance low income earner access to lands. There should also be enforcement of building regulations in area of building construction. Government should discourage importation of building materials and encourage local production as this will translate to cost reduction of the raw materials and job creation. Satellite towns should be created to reduce pressure on city centres.


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  19. World Bank (1992): Housing Enabling Market to Work; World Bank Housing Sector Policy Paper; Washington DC

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