The minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has harped on the need to review and change the house rent collection system in the country.
The minister who noted this during his inaugural media meeting recently in Abuja, where he unveiled his strategic plans for the infrastructure sector, pointed out that the way rent was paid in Nigeria leads to an accounting mismatch.
He said: “The way we collect rent is something that must change. If we are collecting two years rent in advance from a salary that is going to be earned in arrears monthly, there’s an accounting mismatch.
“This is something many of us have experienced, you pay two years rent in advance money you haven’t earned. Something is distorted somewhere in our accounting model. We must all resolve, property owners alike, that maybe if we changed the way we collected rent alone many houses that are unoccupied, will be occupied.”
Speaking in relation to the housing deficit in the country, Fashola said, “I am inclined to think that if we just change the payment system for housing we will accommodate a significant number of people.”
Emphasising the need to allow the rent payment system match the salary payment system, he said, “If salaries are paid in arrears, rent should be paid in arrears.” He added that a more rigorous enforcement system for eviction would then be worked out for anyone in default.”