From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Federal Government, yesterday, condemned the frustrations tenants go through in making advance payments of two to three years rent.
Speaking at the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Sokoto, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola admitted that the Federal Government has no constitutional authority to control rent, adding that rent is a local matter.
But he challenged the local authorities to design how rent payment can be made a little easier and comfortable for tenants.
“This would be a most revolutionary intervention when working class people can pay their rent when they receive their salaries.
This is possible if we try and this will give the fullest possible expression to the theme of this meeting” he said
Fashola disagreed with the reports that the introduction of Land Use Act has slowed down the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of Os), saying that since 2017, the Federal Government has issued over 5,000 C of Os and granted 2,738 consent to land transactions.
“Today, I can tell you that since 2017, when the president delegated his power under the Land Use Act to grant consent and issue certificate of occupancy, to the minister we have issued over 5,000 certificates of occupancy and granted 2,738 consent to land transactions.
“These are important documents to facilitate housing delivery and housing finance that we need to pay more attention to, in addition to the process involved in granting of construction permits and approvals.
“At the Federal Government level, we have introduced Rent-to-Own into our acquisition/sale model for the disposal of the houses in the National Housing Programme.
I concede that the majority of the houses belong to the private sector and they expect legitimate income from rent for the property” he said.
The minister used the occasion to express his happiness over the achievements of National Housing Programme (NHP) initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the programme has been used to stimulate the economies of 34 states and the FCT by providing work for artisans, builders, engineers, and other skilled persons in the built industry.
“Let me start by telling you how pleased I am that the National Housing Programme that was initiated by our ministry at the onset of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is now delivering on its objective.
“Apart from stimulating the economies of the 34 states and the FCT in the communities where work is being undertaken for the construction of houses, by providing work for artisans, builders, engineers, and other skilled persons in the built industry, the construction sites have been and remained centres of supply for building materials and other commodities” he said.
Besides, the Federal Government has equally used the NHP to redeem a 28-year old promise made by the federal government to 22 players of the 1994 Super Eagles who won the Africa Nation’s Cup.
“Perhaps one of the most pleasing impacts of this National Housing initiative by the Federal Government, is that it has been used by President Muhammadu Buhari to redeem the housing promise made to the 22-man squad of the Super Eagles since winning the African Nations Cup in 1994.
“A promise that remained unkept for 28 years has been redeemed by President Buhari, and if you ask the members of the Super Eagles, they will tell you that things have changed for them for the better” he said.