The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday proposed a three-month rent collection by house owners in the country.
The minister, who made the call at the weekly Ministerial Press Briefing at the State House, Abuja, added that three-year tenancy rate and other exorbitant charges have made housing expensive for Nigerians in urban areas.
He said urbanisation have contributed to the housing shortages in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Port Harcourt, amongst others.
Fashola said: “We are not in a housing crisis and this is a subject of a full discussion itself. The housing shortages that exist especially in all parts of the world are in the urban centres, not in the rural areas. It is a problem caused as a result of urbanisation where people move from rural to urban areas and then it creates a supply and demand problem.
“And so, you will find many of the people who are in urban centres like Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Aba, Ibadan, Abeokuta and those types of places seeking to squat with somebody or trying to rent a house has an empty home in his village.
So, if we understand it’s like that, then, let us look at the urban centres themselves. In the urban centres, you will see that there are still empty houses and you will then understand that we have to discuss housing on two paradigms – ownership and rental – because no nation provides full ownership for all its citizens.”
The minister urged state governments to intervene in the management of house rent.
He added: “As long as people have to pay three years rent from salaries that are earned monthly in arrears, there will be the problem of affordability but if you bring it to like three months in advance, there is something still called salary advance in the private sector, then people will be able to afford it.