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FG restates commitment to affordable housing delivery

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed that between 2017 to July 2022, the federal government has approved over 5,000 certificates of occupancy and granted 2,738 consents to land transactions.

Fashola said this on Thursday in a remark at the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Sokoto.

The theme was, “Housing Our People, By All of Government and All Our People.”

He said, “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 consents 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.”

Fashola argued that the Land Use Act is not the problem about access to land, adding that the problem “is not with law but with the administration of the law.”

He said automation of land administration processes in order to make them efficient is the biggest issue.

The Minister also spoke on the need for landlords to desist from asking for more than one year rent from the working class.

He said that the tradition of making tenants pay more than one year rent harms the Nigerian economy.

Fashola said, “I concede that majority of the houses belong to the private sector and they expect legitimate income from rent for the properties.

“I hold a strong view that asking for 2 to 3 years rent in advance from working class people (as distinct from corporate tenants who may prefer to pay in advance) does more harm than good to all concerned and to the economy.”

He admitted that the Federal Government has no constitutional authority to dictate the manner rent should be collected because it is a “local matter and rightly so.”

The minister, however, challenged stakeholders to lessen the burdens of tenants by reviewing the mode of rent payment by tenants.

He added, “I use the platform of this meeting to challenge and provoke all state representatives to thoughts and action about how we can make the payment of rent easier and comfortable for both tenants and landlords.

“This would be a most revolutionary intervention when working class people can pay their rent when they receive their salaries.”

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