Former governor of Lagos and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that the collection of two to three years' rent in advance by landlords is causing more harm than good to Nigeria’s economy.
Speaking at the 2022 National Council Meeting on Lands, Housing and Urban Development (11th in the series) held in Sokoto State on Thursday July 28, Fashola intensified the push for monthly rent payments across the country, and also charged state governments to look at ways to make the payment of rent easier and more comfortable for both tenants and landlords.
“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.
“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.”
Fashola further stated that a situation where working-class people could pay their rent when they receive their salaries would be the most revolutionary intervention.
“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’
“We have introduced Rent-to-Own into our acquisition/sale model for the disposal of the houses in the National Housing Programme.”