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Housing: Sanwo-Olu, Fashola canvass monthly rental system in Nigeria

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
23 October 2021   |   3:43 am
Nigeria is ripe for an inclusive rental system that will reduce the housing burden on working families. With the system, tenants will be paying rents monthly, instead of yearly as presently obtains in Lagos..

[FILES] Sanwo-Olu. Photo/FACEBOOK/ jidesanwooluofficial

Lagos Targets 7,000 Housing Units In 2022

Nigeria is ripe for an inclusive rental system that will reduce the housing burden on working families. With the system, tenants will be paying rents monthly, instead of yearly as presently obtains in Lagos, Abuja and other cities.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, canvassed this position at the just-concluded 10th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu said the current rental model in which people remit yearly rent in advance to property owners had become inadequate to address contemporary realities in the housing sector, especially in cities where demand for properties is high and expensive.

The governor advocated monthly rental system, which, he said, would be affordable to low- and middle-income earners, who are pressured by yearly rent obligation.

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, corroborated the Lagos governor, stressing that yearly rental system had created inequality in housing supply and widened affordability gap for low-income earners.

The audience at the forum held in Ikeja theme ‘Housing Development as a Catalyst for Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Economic Development’, comprised commissioners for housing and urban development across 36 states, permanent secretaries in the states’ housing ministries, lawmakers on housing committees, surveyors, town planners, builders and other stakeholders in the built industry.

Urging policy makers to consider the suggestion and initiate regulatory framework that would aid transition to new rental system, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos was already working out monthly rent modalities to accommodate residents not keen on the state’s home ownership scheme.

He said: “In building homes, we do not only enhance the family ecosystem by providing a decent setting for raising future leaders, we also strengthen the economy through provision of economic engagements for professionals, artisans, suppliers and home decorators. In delivering decent shelters, we must care for both low- and high-income earners because housing is a basic human need.”

The governor listed the progress recorded in the last two years of his administration in the housing sector, pointing out that his government had raised the housing stock in Lagos by the completion, delivery and commissioning of no fewer than 10 housing schemes spread all over the state.

“We are hopeful that by the end of this year, we would have added additional 2,100 units of decent homes to our stock, as we prepare for the completion and commissioning of another five housing schemes in Ibeshe, Odo Onosa Ayandelu, Agbowa, Sangotedo and Gbagada. These will bring a total of 15 schemes completed by my administration. It is our hope that by the third quarter of 2022, a total of 7,000 homes would have been completed from both direct budgetary allocation and joint venture schemes.”

Fashola, a former governor of Lagos, said monthly rental model might not translate to making all Nigerians home-owners, but would help reduce the number of citizens who lack decent shelters and live on the edge.

The minister said advanced payment of rent had created a mismatch in wealth distribution by putting more money in the hands of the rich at the expense of low-income earners. The way out, Fashola said, is to reverse the system by bringing monthly income close to monthly rent obligation.