The Federal Government on Tuesday expressed its dissatisfaction with the prevailing situation whereby landlords are demanding two years rent in advance from tenants.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made known the position of the federal government on the issue of rents and the value of properties at the inauguration of board members of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, in Abuja.
Fashola charged property developers to consider the economic hardship across the country, and reduce rent, adding that in other climes, rents and the value of properties are falling following unfavourable prevailing economic condition.
The former Lagos governor urged the board to tackle the problem of high house rents and advance payments in major cities.
He said, “Let me just ask you a question since everybody is here; is there nothing that we can do in this country about this practice of demanding rent for two, three years in advance from people who get their salaries monthly in arrears? Is there nothing that can be done, because we can’t continue like this?”
Speaking further, “We must first of all question the practice, look at its strengths and weaknesses and its damage on the entire economy. For instance, as a minister, my salary is N900,000, so when you ask me to go and bring rent for two years in advance that I have not earned, and I actually bring it, shouldn’t you start worrying?
“So when you suddenly see that the price of water, food, etc., begin to spike, are we really gaining? Because one way or the other, I’m going to get back what you collected from me. It’s a matter of conscience. Can you pay for a taxi before you board it?”