The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has advocated for the payment of house rents in arrears to assist low income earners in the country.
Fashola said this on Thursday in Abuja at the Business Day Real Estate Roundtable and Exhibition programme.
He appealed to home-owners and landlords across the nation to be considerate to the low income earners in rent payment though it was against what was obtainable in the country.
Fashola expressed dissatisfaction about the practice of advance payment in Nigeria, adding that all the developed economies being compared with Nigeria did not collect one year’s rent in advance.
He noted that most workers, who earned salary regularly and could even afford to pay rent, did not receive their salaries in advance, but in arrears.
“If you ask me to go and bring in advance, one year’s rent, to what I am going to earn monthly in arrears, how feasible is that?
Even my salary as a minister is paid at the end of every month, not even at the beginning, then why should landlord be asking for next year’s salary. And we are complaining that there is corruption?
He recalled that during his tenure as a Governor in Lagos, he tried to pass the resolution to the state council then, but the outcome was not peaceful.
Those who get paid weekly pay their rents weekly; those who get paid monthly pay monthly rents,” saying that the masses, unlike the well to do in society, cannot afford to pay in advance.
The minister also recommended that there should be a Landlord-Tenant-Employer’s relations, whereby the landlord would reach an agreement with the tenant’s employer to ensure deduction of rent on a monthly basis from the tenant’s salary.
Fashola, however, charged all landlords in Nigeria, to start from June 6 to agree to take one month rent in advance.