Lagos State Government’s enforcement of the monthly rent charge according to tenant’s earnings is commendable, but…  Comrade Iche

By Onome Naomi 

In reference to the recent bill proposed by some members of the Senate and Lagos state government to enforce monthly house rent payments according to tenants’s earnings, Comrade Prince Saviour Iche, a human rights activist aka ‘The Voice of the Voiceless’, commends Gov. Babajide Sanwo-olu for making moves to enforce the laws of the one-month tenancy charge. Says it will be thorough only if the state government builds more low-cost housing for citizens.

Comrade Iche said low-cost housing could enhance the idea of a one-month tenancy charge, but how many governors have built such facilities for the occupants of a state? How many mortgaged houses are available for citizens, as it is done in western countries?. He added that the essence of enforcing this new law cannot be ascertained; the motive behind the situation is unclear.

Landlords and landladies will not really object to the idea as it is even more regular and profitable despite the high cost of building materials inflated by the present government. The problem is that, tenants who find it very hard to pay yearly rent will find it even harder to pay monthly rent. For instance, the former governor of Lagos State, within a few years of his reign, built many estates and gave them out at a very low cost. If other governors in Lagos follow suit, rent charge will be cheaper, Lagos landlords will see the development as a competition and cost of rent will come at a reasonable rate otherwise landlords will lose potential tenants. The government has failed in her duties to provide adequate shelter/apartments at a fair price, leading to chaos in housing, Iche opined.

Iche further stated that Sen. Ned Nwoko’s proposal for the monthly rent bill is thoughtful but might not be sustained because it is not practical. Maybe Sen. Ned Nwoko, a serving senator and philanthropist, has done well for people in his senatorial district; how about others? Have they done the same to support the new law by creating low-cost housing for the masses? I am challenging the leaders because they are the government; they should be able to create ease for Nigerians with the money they have laundered, Iche asserted.

Iche, convener of ‘Voice of the Voiceless’, applauded Babatunde Raji Fashola’s tenure as former governor of Lagos State for approving the one-year rent, and Lagos landlords never complained. The concern should be: Can tenants afford to pay the monthly rent? Many might not even earn up to the rent per month, while the yearly rent gives them enough time to save up.

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Calls on the governors, senators, and federal government to build more houses and estates for the average citizen and allow them to pay in installments to correlate with their monthly earnings. Through this means, most citizens can be house owners in no distant time in accordance with the same measures put in place by the late ex-governor Jakande in Lagos State, Iche added.


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