Government seeks laws banning collection of two-year rent in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration has been asked to take bold steps to make laws restricting payment of one or two years rent in Abuja by tenants.
The Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office in the office of the Head of Service (HoS), Yemi Adelakun, stated this at the weekend while responding to questions by The Guardian in Abuja on ways to free the civil servants from paying one or two years’ rent to Abuja landlords.
Adelakun said that the FCT administration should take a cue from Lagos State government that recently made such laws in addressing the lingering practice of pre-paid rents.
The Permanent Secretary said: “The rent law in Lagos is very unique and I believe the authority of the FCT Administration has the possibility too to do that because it’s a major discussion and has a major disadvantage to workers who collect their salaries on a monthly basis but are required to pay rents on yearly basis by their landlords and in some cases, they ask you to pay two years’ rent. This is a major problem and this has to be addressed.
“The government, through some persuasions, can get landlords to be more humane in their demand of rents from tenants.”
Besides, Adelakun said the success of providing affordable housing to Nigerians primarily depends on availability of land because it constitutes 30 to 40 per cent of the total cost of a house.
He further said: “So, if Nigeria must deliver affordable houses to her teeming population, we have to liberalise the Land Use Act of 1978, make it available to the people or to the various schemes that are coming up daily for mass housing. They could be given these lands at a very low price or even free to serve as government’s contribution to free and affordable houses for the people,
“Land title has also become a major obstacle to quick realisation of affordable houses for the people. There are people who are interested in building or sponsoring affordable housing in Nigeria, but because land titles are not easily available in Nigeria, they cannot support it.”