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Access to land remains a major factor in all productive activities in every society. Hence, this study examines the extent to which access to land influences the ability of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) in the delivery of affordable housing to the middle and low-income earners in Nigeria with a specific focus on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. The study adopted survey approach with questionnaire and unstructured interview as major instruments of data collection. The study selected a sample size of 150 out of staff population of 430 which represents 34.9% of the study population. In analyzing the data, the study employed simple percentage, and arithmetic mean with the aid of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. The hypothesis of the study was tested with Pearson’s chi-square method. The findings of the study revealed that there is no significant difference among the staff of FHA in their perception of difficulty in access to land as a major challenge to the delivery of affordable housing in Abuja. Consequently, the study recommends that the Federal Government should take measure(s) that could enhance the FHA’s access to land with a view to reducing the cost of its houses for the citizenry. The amendment to the Land Use Act (1978) to simplify the process of securing land titles and eliminate the existing dual ownership of land titles in the country is long overdue. Keywords Abuja, Access to land, Affordability, Delivery, FHA, Housing achieving efficient and sustainable housing delivery. Introduction Sustainable access to affordable housing delivery in Nigeria There is consensus among economists that land is the origi- has, however, remained a challenge especially for the low nal and primary factor of production. This presupposes that and middle-income earners. According to Emiedafe (2015), in the milieu of production, land has no substitute; and that “Nigeria with a population of about 174 million people is other factors of production, namely, labour, capital, and currently facing a national housing deficit of about 17 mil- entrepreneur can only be useful with the availability of and lion units.” The level of the deficit has worsen over the years access to land. Omirin (2002) shared this position when he jumping from 7 million (1991) to 12 million (2002) and 14 asserts that “access to land and property rights is a major key million (2010) (Sapientvendors.com.ng/housing.in.nigeria). in economic growth and development.” Similarly, Owoeye It is instructive that access to affordable housing in the and Adedeji (2015, p. 10) posit that “land is fundamental to country is worsening in spite of housing delivery efforts by development, growth and housing delivery in any society.” both government and private sector organizations. In other Housing provision is one of the basic needs of man in every society. The significance of decent housing in modern Gombe State University, Nigeria society cannot be overemphasized. Housing is essential to 2 Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Technology (ATBU), Bauchi, human being not just as a source of protection from the effect Nigeria of sun, rainfall, and other climate conditions, but it also Corresponding Author: serves as a basic gathering point where important economic, Abdullahi Oladimeji Lawal, Department of Public Administration, Gombe social, and political activities are nurtured and pursued State University, Tudun wada area, Gombe 234, Nigeria. (Oladimeji, 2015, p. 1). Hence, access to land is vital to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 SAGE Open words, middle and low-income earners are increasingly Research Question 3: How can the FHA overcome its unable to afford decent housing supply despite the continu- challenges of access to land thereby accelerating the ous attempt at increasing housing stock by both formal and delivery of affordable housing to the middle and low- informal housing organizations in the country. income groups in Abuja? Against this back-drop that land is one of the essential factors in housing delivery; this study examines the effect of Hypothesis access to land in the delivery of affordable housing in Nigeria with specific focus on the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) This study is guided by the postulation that. in Abuja. Null Hypothesis (H0): There is no significant difference among the staff of FHA in their perception of difficulty in Statement of the Problem access to land as a major challenge to the delivery of Access to decent and affordable housing is one of the univer- affordable housing in Abuja. sal needs of man across societies. Over the years, successive Nigerian governments have tried to achieve the goal of Method affordable housing with several policy measures. Such pol- icy measures include the establishment of the FHA in 1973 The study location of this research is the headquarter of the with a mandate to accelerate access of Nigerians to afford- FHA Abuja. The study population comprised of all the staff able housing and the setting of goals of particular housing of FHA. The FHA has a staff strength of 430, out of whom units to be achieved within a given time frame (Amdii, 150 staff were selected as sample size. In drawing the sam- 1993). Other examples of housing programs in Nigeria ple population, stratified and judgmental sampling tech- include the Shagari housing policy (1979), the 12,000 hous- niques were combined. The study adopted survey technique ing units target of 1994 and the 40,000 housing units per in obtaining its data. Data for the study were generated annum of the year 2002 (Oladimeji, 2015). In spite of pleth- through a combination of both primary and secondary data. ora of these policies/programs, achievements in the delivery Questionnaire and unstructured interview provided primary of affordable housing in the country remained abysmally data while secondary data were obtained through textbooks, poor. Olorunisola (2013) revealed that new housing con- journal articles, and Internet materials. Simple percentage, struction by FHA is only 10,000 units per annum while 90% as well as the arithmetic mean, was used via the Statistical of housing delivery is through private developer. This ugly Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS’ version 17.0) in data trend has limited the existing housing stock in the country analysis. The research hypothesis was tested with Pearson’s thereby raising the prices of the available stock. Thus, Chi-square. Nigerians spend between 36% and 40% of gross income on rents. This level of expenditure has made decent housing Literature Review unaffordable for the middle and low-income groups in the country. Access to Land Furthermore, houses constructed by the FHA are not priced at cheaper rates compare to those of private develop- Access to land remains a central issue to productive activities ers. The contradiction in Abuja, and other major cities in in general and housing provision in particular. Food and the country is that despite increasing housing stock, the Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2002) number of people who could not secure affordable housing observed that access to land is governed by land tenure sys- is on the rise. One pertinent question in this scenario is to tems. Land tenure is the relationship, whether legally or cus- ask for the place of access to land in the delivery of afford- tomarily defined, among people, as individuals or groups, able housing especially for a government housing delivery with respect to land. In other words, land tenure system agent such as the Federal Housing Authority (FHA)? This determines who can use what land, for how long, and under article therefore attempts to examine the effect of access to what conditions. Similarly, Quan (2006) defined access to land on the delivery of affordable housing by the FHA in land broadly as the process by which people individually or Abuja. The specific research questions in this direction are: collectively gain rights and opportunities to occupy and uti- lize land (primarily for productive purposes but also other Research Question 1: To what extent do staff of FHA economic and social purposes) on a temporary or permanent differ in their perception of difficulty in access to land as basis. a major challenge to the delivery of affordable housing in Omirin (2002) conceived acquisition of land as com- Abuja? prising of availability of unusable lands, affordability of Research Question 2: How does difficulty in access to such lands, as well as by security of owner’s right. From land constraint the FHA in the delivery of affordable the conceptualizations above, key elements in access to housing in Abuja? land are: Lawal and Adekunle 3 i. What processes and procedures are involved and how being diverse, complex and elusive. Milligan, Phibbs, Fagan, simple or complex are they? and and Gurran (2004) in Urban Research Center (2008, p. 5) ii. How affordable or otherwise to the citizen is the cost opined that “affordable housing connotes housing that is of acquisition of land? responsive to the needs of households who do not have suf- ficient income to access adequate housing in the market Furthermore, FAO (2002) opined that the manner in without some form of assistance.” The UN-Habitat (2011, p. which rights to land are distributed and used can be very 9) broadly defined affordable housing as adequate housing in complex. The group identified the various categories of land terms of quality and location, which does not cost so much as tenure as: to prohibit its occupants from meeting other basic living costs or threatens their enjoyment of basic human rights. i. Private: The assignment of rights to a private party Scholars have also used the term decent housing to imply who may be an individual, a married couple, a group qualitative housing with essential amenities such as space, of people, or a corporate body such as a commercial ventilation, and toilet. This means that two factors are essen- entity or non-profit organization. For example, within tial in affordable housing; namely: quality of the houses in a community, individual families may have exclusive terms of facilities available, and the cost of acquiring the rights to residential parcels, agricultural parcels, and houses. Adejumo (2008, p. 2) elucidated on the second con- certain trees. Other members of the community can dition when he argues that affordable housing is a term used be excluded from using these resources without the to describe dwelling units whose total housing costs are consent of those who hold the rights. deemed affordable to a group of people within a specified ii. Communal: A right of commons may exist within a income range. community where each member has a right to use The central issue of affordable housing is, therefore, eco- independently the holdings of the community. For nomic and relates to households housing and non-housing example, members of a community may have the expenditure and income as well as financial assistance like right to graze cattle on a common pasture. credit, loans, and subsidies open to them (Suhaida et al., 2011). iii. Open access: Specific rights are not assigned to any- It is instructive to note that there are varied approaches to mea- one and no one can be excluded. This typically surement of affordable housing. In the United States and includes marine tenure where access to the high seas is Canada, a commonly accepted guideline for housing afford- generally open to anyone; it may include rangelands, ability is a housing cost that does not exceed 30% of a house- forests, and so on where there may be free access to the hold gross income. In some other instances, affordable housing resources for all. An important difference between is used to describe housing that a family group can acquire open access and communal systems is that under a within a given period of time ranging between 15 and 30 years. communal system, non-members of the community In the words of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (2009), “when are excluded from using the common areas. the government says affordable housing it means affordable for iv. State: Property rights are assigned to some authority in families in the middle or at the lower end of the income scale.” the public sector. For example, in some countries, forest The foregoing review shows that affordable housing lands may fall under the mandate of the state, whether at refers to decent housing whose cost of either purchase or a central or decentralized level of government. renting does not exceeds 30% of a household’s income. The concept of affordable housing becomes prominent in hous- Apart from the various forms of ownership discussed ing literature in the face of the existing reality of expensive above, Quan (2006) pontificated that the processes of access nature of housing in the open market. to land include participation in both formal and informal markets, land access through kinship and social networks, Effect of Access to Land on the Delivery of including the transmission of land rights through inheritance and within families, and land allocation by the state and other Affordable Housing authorities with control over land and landowners. In Nigeria, Access to land is one of the major factors in housing provi- the current land tenure system is informally a combination of sion in general and affordable housing in particular. both the State tenured system and private ownership. From UN-HABITAT (2011) demonstrated that the availability of the foregoing, land tenure is the relationship, whether legally land at affordable prices is fundamental to expanding the or customarily defined, among people, as individuals or supply of affordable housing and limiting the growth of new groups with respect to land. slums. Land remains a central constraint of increasing the supply of affordable housing in Asia. Low and middle- Affordable Housing income households are, therefore, priced out of land markets in the vast majority of cities and have poor access to well- The concept of affordable housing has received tremendous located land. Similarly, Abusah (2004) in his study of access attention from scholars to the point where it is regarded as 4 SAGE Open to land for housing development: A review of land title reg- Data Presentation and Discussion istration in Accra, Ghana, used a questionnaire to obtain its From Table 1, responses on the question of whether FHA data. He found that the backlog in the delivery of land and faces difficulty in the acquisition of land in Abuja indicate a housing to Ghanaians cast doubt on government ability to mean score of 3.72 which shows an existence of difficulty in give effect to the constitutional ideal of a more equitable dis- land acquisition. Respondents also agreed that FHA usually pensation of access to land. “The delays in, and long waiting seeks for allocation of land at the level of the Minister of the periods for title registration increasingly lead to frustration Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with a mean score of 3.97. and friction to would-be homeowners and investors alike” However, respondents disagreed with the proposition that (Abusah, 2004, p. 11). approval for land to FHA is usually obtained within a short The situation in Nigeria is not too different from those of duration with responses showing a mean score of 1.77. Asia countries and Ghana as shown above. Available litera- Furthermore, responses to the question of whether FHA ture revealed that access to land remains a complex subject usually pays the commercial rate for land allocation to the in the sense that both customary rules and State participation FCT for its housing programs reveal a mean score of 3.89 are the dominant land tenure practices in the country. Prior to which implies an agreement. On the whole, the responses British rule, access to land was governed by customary rules on the issue of land acquisition by the FHA show a mean with its attendant’s insecurity of tenure, incessant rancour, score of 3.36 which represents an agreement that land fraudulent sales of land, and marginalization of non-land acquisition is a major implementation constraint to FHA in holding family members, among others (Owoeye & Adedeji, housing provision. 2015). The challenges associated with the customary land tenure system led to the promulgation of Land Use Act of 1978 with the aim of creating cheaper and easier accessibil- Test of Hypothesis ity for Nigerians. However, the promulgation of the Land Use Act has not Null Hypothesis (H0): There is no significant difference brought about any significant improvement in access to land for among FHA staff in their perception of difficulty in land productive purposes in Nigeria. In the words of Owoeye and acquisition as a major constraint to FHA in providing Adedeji (2015, p. 11), “therefore customary and state systems decent and affordable housing for the middle- and low- prevail in the country with the consequence of double purchase income earners in Abuja. of the same land by the hoodlums locally called “Omo-oniles.” Adejumo (2008) corroborated this position thus: Table 3 and the test of the hypothesis show that the Pearson chi-square value of 3.022 is less than the table value The constraints imposed by the land use act, a moribund and of 11.14. The research, therefore, rejects the alternative repressive act that hinders mortgage financing and creates hypothesis and retains the null hypothesis. The null hypoth- enormous obstacles to private sector involvement in the housing esis states that there is no significant difference among FHA industry and which has constrained the transfer of titles and made staff in their perception of difficulty in land acquisition as a mortgage finance extremely difficult. As a result of land use act, major constraint to FHA in providing affordable housing for obtaining the certificate of occupancy (popularly known as C of the middle and low-income earners. Furthermore, the grand O) has become a big-time avenue for large-scale corruption. mean score of 3.36 in Table 1, and the mean scores of the responses on each of the variables of land acquisition are an Ugonabo and Emoh (2013) in their study of the major attestation to the conclusion reached on the test of the hypoth- challenges to housing development and delivery in Anambra esis above that difficulty in land acquisition is a major imple- State identified lack of secure access to land among the mentation constraint to FHA. multiplicity of factors inhibiting effective housing develop- ment in the state. Evidence abounds in urbanization studies in developing countries to buttress the fact that where land Discussion of Findings has been made available, even the poor have been able to provide themselves with some form of housing. “This The result of the test of the hypothesis shows that there is no assertion applies with equal force to Anambra State as even significance difference among the staff of FHA in their per- the very poor ones have been able to incrementally develop ception of difficulty being encountered in land acquisition. their residential houses even if it means one year one block Acquisition of land is a major constraint to FHA in providing until the building gets to livable stage” (Ugonabo & Emoh, housing for the middle and low-income earners. Both the 2013, p. 9). management and non-management staff of FHA are in agree- The existing gap which this study tries to fill is the extent ment that land acquisition is a major problem to the effective to which the FHA is constrained in its delivery of affordable and smooth operation of FHA. A close examination of the housing by access to land in Abuja giving that one of the key difficulty reveals that the procedure of securing land titles in responsibilities of the FHA is to accelerate access of the country is cumbersome and expensive. This situation has Nigerians to affordable housing. not only limited housing development, but it has also delayed Lawal and Adekunle 5 Table 1. Respondents’ Opinion on Land Acquisition as a Major Constraint to Housing Provision of FHA. Respondent’s opinion on land acquisition being a major constraint to housing provision of FHA Land acquisition variables SD D U A SA Total M FHA usually faces difficulty in the acquisition 8 10 3 66 43 130 3.72 of land in Abuja (6.2) (7.7) (2.3) (50.8) (33.1) (100) FHA usually seek for allocation of land at the 57 56 8 8 1 130 3.97 level of Minster of FCT (43.8) (43.1) (6.2) (6.2) (.8) (100) Approval for land to FHA is usually within a 3 15 9 69 34 130 1.77 short duration (2.3) (11.5) (6.9) (53.1) (26.2) (100) FHA usually pay the commercial rate of land 6 12 11 73 28 130 3.89 allocated for its housing programs (4.6) (9.2) (8.5) (56.2) (21.5) (100) Total 74 93 31 216 106 520 3.36 (14.2) (17.9) (6.0) (41.5) (20.4) (100) Source. Field Survey, August 2013. Note. FHA = Federal Housing Authority, FCT = Federal Capital Territory, SD = Strongly Disagreed, D = Disagreed, U = Undecided, A = Agreed, SA = Strongly Agreed. Table 2. Respondent’s Opinion on Land Acquisition as a Major Constraint to Housing Provision of FHA. Respondent’s opinion on land acquisition as a major constraint to housing provision of FHA Respondents positional level SD D U A SA Total Management staff 27 33 14 76 46 196 (13.8) (16.8) (7.1) (38.8) (23.5) (100) Non-management staff 47 60 17 140 60 324 (14.5) (18.5) (5.2) (43.2) (18.5) (100) Total 74 93 31 216 106 520 (14.2) (17.9) (6.0) (41.5) (20.4) (100) Source. Field Survey, August (2013). Note. FHA = Federal Housing Authority, SA = Strongly Agreed. Table 3. Chi-Square Tests. designed to promote access to home-ownership to the same market forces with privately owned organizations can only Calculated Asymp. sig. frustrate the efforts of such agency as the privately owned value df (2-sided) Table value institutions will certainly perform better. Ikejiofor (1999) Pearson chi-square 3.022 4 .554 11.14 buttressed the difficulty in accessing land as a major chal- lenge to housing development when he opined that “exten- Source. Computed with SPSS, (June 2014). sive and intensive literature searches reveal consensus 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 11.68. among analysts that accessibility to land poses the greatest difficulty to urban housing production in many developing the efforts of government agencies in housing provision in countries.” the country. As Aluko (2012, p. 120) rightly pointed out “the According to Ugonabo and Emoh (2013) the fundamen- present land policy in the country is faced with many prob- tal difficulty in achieving land accessibility is the promul- lems that make land acquisition difficult for corporate estates gation of Land Use Act of 1978 (Cap L5 LFN, 2005) which developers”. created a dual structure of land delivery systems, as cus- As a result of this defective land policy (Land Use Act tomary and state systems prevail in the State with the con- of 1978), the FHA land application usually takes a long sequence of double purchase from the customary owners time and is subjected to the same commercial rates which and the State which has the effect of complicating the land other corporate and non-government organizations in the accessibility process. They maintained that the Act rather housing sector pay. This arrangement is considered less than facilitate easier access to land has made it extra diffi- than adequate for a government agency like the FHA, if it cult for intending developers to get land while top govern- is to deliver affordable housing for the middle and low- ment officials have been using it arbitrarily. “Ironically, an income earners. Besides, subjecting a Government agency agency of the Federal government responsible for housing 6 SAGE Open provision Federal Housing Authority (FHA) also identified Funding difficulties in land acquisition as a major hindrance to hous- The author(s) received no financial support for the research, author- ing delivery in the country” (Ugonabo & Emoh, 2013, p. 9). ship, and/or publication of this article. ORCID iD Conclusion and Recommendations Abdullahi Oladimeji Lawal https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6160-5933 Land is the number one factor of production. Without easy access to land, no productive activity could be undertaken. References The delivery of affordable housing by the FHA has been Abusah, S. K. (2004). Access to land for housing development: A largely constrained as the agency is usually subjected to a review of land title registration in Accra, Ghana (Unpublished tortuous and complex process in securing access to land master thesis). Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, for housing delivery. In addition, the FHA is not given Sweden. exemption (or subsidy) in payment of charges for land Adejumo, A. A. (2008). Understanding the concepts of afford- allocated it by the FCT Administration. The agency also able and social housing in Nigeria. Retrieved from https:// has to pay compensation to indigenous claimants to a given www.nigeriansinamerica.com/understanding-the-concepts-of- land after the approval of the authorities has been obtained. affordable-and-social-housing-in-nigeria/ Thus, FHA houses remained expensive and unaffordable Aluko, O. (2012). The effects of land use act on sustainable housing provision: The Lagos state experience. Journal of Sustainable for the middle and low-income earners in Abuja. Development, 5(1), 114-122. Another important factor in land acquisition with the FHA Amdii, I. E. S. (1993). Analysis of government housing policies in is the undue delay its applications usually suffer. This delay Nigeria. Zaria, Nigeria: Ahmadu Bello University Press. mostly emanates from administrative bottlenecks in govern- The Center for Urban Pedagogy. (2009). What is affordable hous- ment institutions part of which is the ministry of land and ing? New York, NY: Brooklyn. other agencies with responsibility for land allocation matters. Emiedafe, W. (2015). Housing in Nigeria: Why we desperately This factor usually contributes to the delay in housing deliv- need 17 million more Homes. Retrieved from http://sapient- ery by the authority. vendors.com.ng/housing-in-nigeria Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2002). Gender and access to land. Rome, Italy: Viale delle Terme di Recommendations Caracalla. To boost the capacity of the FHA in the delivery of afford- Ikejiofor, U. (1999). The god that failed: A critique of public able housing for the middle and low-income earners, the housing in Nigeria, 1975-1995. Habitat International, 23, following measures are recommended to the Federal 177-188. Government. Milligan, V., Phibbs, P., Fagan, K., & Gurran, N. (2004). A practical framework for expanding affordable housing services in Australia: Learning from experience (Final 1. An amendment to the Land Use Act (1978) is long Report No. 65). Australian Housing and Urban Research overdue and should therefore be undertaken. The Institute. objective of the amendment should be geared toward Oladimeji, L. A. (2015). An assessment of the implementation simplifying the process of securing access to land of housing policy in Nigeria: A study of Federal Housing titles, especially for productive purposes. Dual own- Authority (FHA), Abuja 1991-2013 (Unpublished doctoral the- ership of land which currently prevails in the land sis). The University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria. markets must also be eliminated through the Olorunisola, A. O. (2013, April 12). Delivery and infrastruc- amendment. ture: Building innovations to achieve the delivery of 500,000 2. A government agency such as the FHA should be housing units by 2016—Panel discussion. 3rd Aso Housing given exemption from paying certain fees in its quest Conference, Abuja. Omirin, M. M. (2002, July 16-17). Issues in land accessibil- to delivering affordable houses for the masses. Such ity in Nigeria. In Proceeding of a national workshop on land exemption will reduce the cost of housing delivery by management and property tax reform in Nigeria (pp. 18-27). the agency and invariably lowers the cost of its houses. Lagos, Nigeria: Department of Estate Management, University 3. Authorities at the FCT administration should always of Lagos. facilitate processing FHA’s request for land thereby Owoeye, O. J., & Adedeji, Y. M. D. (2015). Urban land acqui- removing unnecessary delays which usually charac- sition for sustainable housing delivery in Akure, Nigeria. terized land allocation. International Journal of Developing Societies, 4(1), 10-20. Quan, J. (2006). Land access in the 21st century: Issues, trends, Declaration of Conflicting Interests linkages and policy options (Access to Natural Resources Sub- The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect Programme, LSP Working Paper No. 24). Food and Agriculture to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Organization of the United Nations. Lawal and Adekunle 7 Suhaida, M. S., Tamil, N. M., Hamza, N., Che-Ani, A. I., Basir, H., Author Biographies & Yuzainee, M. Y. (2011). Housing affordability: A conceptual Abdullahi Oladimeji Lawal holds BSC, MSC, and PhD in Public overview for house price index. Procedia Engineering, 20, Administration and currently lectures in the Department of Public 346-353. Administration, Gombe State University, Gombe-Nigeria. His Ugonabo, C. U., & Emoh, F. I. (2013). The major challenges to research interest includes Public Policy Analysis, Public Sector housing development and delivery in Anambra State. Civil and Management, and Governance. He has several academic publica- Environmental Research, 3(4), 1-19. tions in both local and foreign Journals to his credit. Urban Research Centre (2008). Housing affordability literature Issa Abdulmumeen Adekunle presently teaches in the Department review and affordable housing programme audit. University of Mathematical Sciences, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University of Western Sydney. (ATBU), Bauchi. He holds BSC, and MSC in Mathematics. He has UN-Habitat. (2011). Affordable land and housing in Asia. Nairobi, several academic publications. Kenya: United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
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Published: May 22, 2018
Keywords: Abuja; Access to land; Affordability; Delivery; FHA; Housing
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