The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, on Thursday, advised state governments to enact laws to make mandatory monthly rent payments to make housing more available to Nigerian masses.
Fashola made the call at the 10th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Ikeja, Lagos.
The theme of the meeting was ” Housing Development as a Catalyst for Job Creation , Social Inclusion and Economic Development,”
He said that it was difficult to remove inequality in any society or nations but commitment of governments could reduce the ratio.
“We may not be able to make all people homeowners, but we can reduce the number of those who lack shelter or live on the edge every so often when rent is falling due.
“I am sure that our country will be a much better place when three years rent in advance, two years rent in advance or one year rent in advance for middle class and working family residential homes becomes monthly rent, payable at the end of the month.
“Why we may not get there immediately, this is an area of immense exclusion that we can remedy by legislative action at state level.
“This is a matter in which the Federal Government has no legislative competence. It is a matter for the states, and I urge you not to turn your backs,” he said.
He said economic indicators showed that payment for a year or more in arrears affected affordability thereby increasing shelter gap, hence the need for legislation.
“All state legislators must see this as an important area of representation of their people to make life easier.
“So must governors and commissioners through executive bills,” Fashola said.