…Hardship Among Nigerians
By ‘Dotun Akintomide
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Thursday, asked landlords in the country to start collecting rents in arrears as against the age-long practice of yearly rent’s collections.
Fashola said the practice has contributed to untold hardship among Nigerians and further breeds corruption.
He stated that monthly collection of rent was to give room for salary earners since they were not receiving their salaries in advance, but in arrears.
He also advocated the payment of rents after each month, as against the yearly payment obtainable across the country currently.
According to him, property owners across the country should understand the plights of the low – income earners.
Fashola stated this while speaking on the theme: “Innovative housing finance model as a catalyst for home ownership,” at an event for real estate operators in Abuja .
He recommended that there should be a landlord-tenant-employer relationships, whereby the landlord reaches an agreement with the tenant’s employer to ensure the rent is deducted on a monthly basis from the tenant’s salary.
Fashola said, “If you ask me to go and bring in advance one year’s rent from what I’m going to earn monthly, how feasible is that?
“Even my salary as a minister is paid at the end of every month, not even at the beginning; then you the landlord is now asking me to bring next year’s salary, and we’re complaining that there’s corruption.
“I tried to intervene as a governor, passing the resolution to our own council in Lagos then, but the outcome was not peaceful, because there were landlords in our midst.”
The minister made it clear that he was not pleased with the practice of advance rent payment, arguing that all the developed economies Nigeria was being compared to were not collecting one year’s rent in advance.
“Those who get paid weekly, pay their rents weekly; those who get paid monthly, pay monthly rents.’ Fashola stated.
According to him, the masses, unlike the well to do in the society, cannot afford to pay their house rents in advance.
“I believe this meeting is about the critical mass of Nigerians, the taxi drivers, market men and women who earn their money daily and are not even sure of making any revenue for that day. Meanwhile, landlords expect advance payments,” the minister told his listeners.
Fashola charged all landlords in the country, starting from Friday, July 6, 2018, “to agree to take one month rent in arrears,” noting that the payment pressure on the side of the tenant would be reduced in 12 months.
The minister also stated that there was no country in the world where everybody owned a home.