Ned Nwoko Condemns One-to-Two Years Rent Demand By Nigerian Landlords

Amina Mansur


Lawmaker, Senator Ned Nwoko, has said that it is unjust to demand for one to two years rent from Nigerians.

He stated this on the floor of the National Assembly following the first reading of his One-Month Rent Limitation and Landlord Registry Act.

Nwoko began by assuring that his decisions for the country always come from an informed position. “When I proffer solution to the problems of Nigeria, I talk from an informed position.”

He said this requirement for people in Nigeria to make rent payments for a year or two, is unfair, and quite inconsiderate of the financial situation of the people in the country, asserting that it doesn’t happen in other countries.

“The issue rising from the rent payment is that it is manifestly unjust for anybody to demand for people to look for rent deposit or payments of one year or two years. Nigerians don’t earn much.

“The salary scale of Nigerians is abysmal, it’s not comparative with so many other societies. So, where do you expect them to get rent, money to pay for two years? Why do you have to put Nigerians through that hell? It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.

“In UK or America, it’s just one month in advance. If you insist that people should pay rent the way we’re carrying on now, what it means is that people have to lie to get that money, people have to steal to get that money, people have to do all manner of bad things to get that money. You’ve turned Nigerians into beggars.”

The Senator stated that a major course of action to foster the realization of his proposal, is creating an agency whose function would be to create structured data for properties in Nigeria, as well as regulate the laws that will be made regarding the payment of rent.

“The idea is to establish an agency. This agency will regulate and enforce any laws that will we make about payment of rent. Not just payment of rent but also to do with the administration of those lease agreements or those rental agreements. The fact is that for this to work, all properties in Nigeria must be registered, whether developed or not developed.

“In Nigeria, we have no database of things, we have no statistics, so it is difficult for anybody to plan. But this is required, this idea of having every land in Nigeria registered, whether developed or not developed, is also to help the Landlords, because if we have lands that are registered and you have an agency that is managing the history of everybody in terms of rentals, whether you’re a poor person or rich person makes no difference because there are houses for everybody that are on rent.

“What it means in essence, for the landlords, they will know where they are with the tenants. And for the tenants, it will be a relief that they have this limited obligation on a monthly basis. But beyond that, the agency, or rather the law, will mandate every landlord and every tenant to within two weeks of signing the agreement to register it with the agency, so you register your tenancy agreement with the agency.

“The same obligation that the landlord has is what the tenant has, and the failure to do this, has some penalties as well. This has multiplying effects if it is done properly.”

Speaking on how the agency will function, and how implementation will be done, he said the federal government will have to take the lead and be the driving force, as their actions will trickle down to the state levels.

“What we just need to do is to regulate the way things are done. Once a federal government agency takes the lead, other agencies that will be put together at the state levels will follow suit. They will all work hand in hand to make this possible for the interest of the people.

“How the law will be implemented, it is very simple. Government is government. Government regulates everything. Everything should be regulated to the extent that it protects the interest of the people.”

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