Securing urban land for housing among low-income earners in Sub-Saharan Africa: Case study of workers’ co-operative society, Enugu, Nigeria

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Issue: Volume 5, Issue 1, 2011

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Co-operative societies across the world have age-old tradition of assisting members gain easy access to vital resources and services through collective efforts. This paper explores the strategies adopted by public sector workers’ co-operative society in securing urban land for housing development. This study is motivated by dearth of empirical studies on strategies used by low- and middle –income earners in overcoming myriad challenges militating against access to urban land and housing in Nigerian cities. We used a qualitative research method to carry out an empirical investigation through one-on-one interviews with purposively selected members of Land Acquisition Committee (LAC) of the NEPA District Co-operative Thrift and Saving Loan Association Enugu, Nigeria. Findings show that a mixture of customary, informal and formal practices involved in securing land from indigenous landowners was principally aimed at ensuring customary and statutory legitimacy as well as secured tenure. The paper concludes that co-operative approach has great potentials in addressing problems of multiple payments for land, “indigenous land owners’ factor” and high cost of urban land in Nigeria, and therefore, should be encouraged and promoted among disadvantaged urban residents in developing countries.

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