Nigerians petition Fashola, N’A against yearly payment of rents

* Petition garners144 signatories

By Onyebuchi Sampson

Energised by a recent bill in the Senate, seeking to regulate rent payments in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), some Nigerians have started moves against yearly payment of rents.

Senator Smart Adeyemi recently sponsored a bill, which had passed second reading, seeking to stop yearly advance payment of rents and compel house owners to collect rent monthly.

To give vent to the bill, Obinna Molokwu started a petition to make the law national on the argument that an average working-class family can’t comfortably pay the exorbitant rent rates not to talk of unemployed people.

The petition is addressed to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Chairman, Senate Committee on housing, Senator Sam Egwu, Chairman, House of Representatives committee on housing, Hon. Mustapha Dawaki Bala and other stakeholders.

Already, the petition, which wants relevant stakeholders to look into the matter and ease the sufferings of Nigerians, has garnered over 144 signatories against expected 200.

According to the petition, payment of rent in Nigeria has remained a big issue in the country because of large population and high urban migration rate, which led to an increase in demand for houses, especially rented apartments. Cities like Lagos and Abuja, it noted have seen prices in rent increase significantly over the years due to the limited availability of houses and high demand from renters.

The promoter wondered why Nigerians, who get paid for their wages monthly, are paying rent yearly. With the current inflation and high unemployment rates in the country, government, the petitioner said should implement a policy for monthly rent payment.

He stated that many Nigerians borrow money just to pay their rent as landlords usually ask for one or two years bulk payment in most cases.

“For crying out loud, Nigerians get paid their wages monthly, why are we paying rent yearly,” he added.

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