The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday declared that the collection of two to three years’ rent in advance by property owners was causing more harm than good to Nigeria’s economy.
Fashola, who intensified the push for monthly rent payments across the country, charged state governments to look at ways to make the payment of rent easier and more comfortable for both tenants and landlords.
The minister disclosed this during his address at the 2022 National Council Meeting on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the 11th in the series, which held in Sokoto State.
In his speech at the event, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja, Fashola said, “I concede that majority of the houses belong to the private sector and they expect legitimate income from rent for the properties.
“However, I hold a strong view that asking for two to three years rent in advance from working class people (as distinct from corporate tenants who may prefer to pay in advance) does more harm than good to all concerned and to the economy.
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“Interestingly, rent is a matter over which the Federal Government has no constitutional authority because it is a local matter and rightly so.
“But I use the platform of this meeting to challenge and provoke all state representatives to thoughts and action about how we can make the payment of rent easier and comfortable for both tenants and landlords.”
This, according to the former Lagos State Governor, would be a most revolutionary intervention when working class people could pay their rent when they received their salaries.
“This is possible if we try and this will give the fullest possible expression to the theme of this meeting which is, ‘Housing our people, by all of government and all our people’,” he stated.
Fashola told delegates at the meeting that at the Federal Government level, “we have introduced Rent-to-Own into our acquisition/sale model for the disposal of the houses in the National Housing Programme.”