Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that property owners who charge rent two to three years in advance are doing more harm than good to the Nigerian economy.
Fashola, who has been advocating for monthly rent payments across the country, stated this on Thursday when he called on state governments to look for ways to make rent payment easier and more convenient for both tenants and landlords.
The minister said this while speaking at the 2022 National Council Meeting on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the 11th in the series, held in Sokoto State.
In his speech, the former Lagos governor said, “I concede that most of the houses belong to the private sector and that the private sector expects legitimate income from the rent on the properties.
“However, I strongly believe that asking the working class to pay rent two to three years in advance (as opposed to corporate tenants who may prefer to pay upfront) does more harm than good to all stakeholders and the economy.
“Interestingly, rent is a matter over which the federal government has no constitutional jurisdiction because it is a local matter, and rightly so.
“But I am using the platform of this meeting to challenge all state representatives to think and act on how we can make rent payment easier and more convenient for both tenants and landlords.”
Fashola explained that this would be the most innovative measure if working class people could pay their rent when they receive their salary.
“This is possible if we make an effort, and it will give the greatest possible expression to the theme of this meeting, which is ‘housing for our people, by all the government and all the people,'” he explained.
Fashola told delegates at the convention that at the federal government level, “we have introduced Rent-to-Own in our buy/sell model for the disposal of houses under the National Housing Program.”