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Nigerians Criticise Ned Nwoko’s One-Month Rent Limitation Bill, Says It Won’t Work

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One-Month Rent Limitation Bill
Ned Nwoko

Nigerians have criticised Ned Nwoko’s proposed One-Month Rent Limitation Bill aiming to restrict rent payments to a one-month basis, saying it won’t work as most Nigerians won’t be able to afford it.

Senator Nwoko, representing Delta North, recently introduced the “One-Month Rent Limitation and Landlord Registry Act” to facilitate monthly rent payments instead of the current one-year or two-year arrangements. He argues that this change would enhance tenant-landlord relations if enacted.

Speaking on Arise News, Nwoko condemned the practice of demanding yearly advance rent payments as unjust given Nigeria’s low income levels. He emphasised that such demands place an undue financial strain on Nigerians, forcing them into dire circumstances.

He said:

“It is manifestly unjust for anybody to demand for people to look for rent deposit of one year or two years.

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

“In the UK and America, it’s just one month in advance and so anybody can look for any accommodation and be able to afford it. It is as simple as that. If you insist that people should pay rent the way we are carrying on now, what it means is that people have to lie, steal, and do all manner of bad things to get that money. You’ve turned Nigerians into beggars,” he stated.

Nwoko explained that the proposed bill aims to establish an agency to regulate rent payments and agreements. All properties in Nigeria developed or undeveloped, would need registration, benefiting both landlords, who would have clear tenant records, and tenants, who would face reduced monthly obligations.

Under the proposed law, both landlords and tenants would be required to register their tenancy agreements within two weeks, with penalties for non-compliance.

“The law will also mandate every landlord and tenant to within two weeks of signing the rent to register it with the agency. So, you register your tenancy with the agency. The same obligation the landlord has is what the tenant has, and failure to do will have some penalties,” he said, emphasising the need to start doing better as a society.

“There must be a record that is consistent, acceptable, and verifiable across the country. When this is done, everything will fall into place. The landlords will be able to receive their money from the tenants into an account where the taxman will also be able to determine how much tax is payable,” he concluded.

However, Nigerians on Twitter (now X) have reacted to this proposition stating that Nigeria isn’t at the level for setting up a monthly rent system given the obnoxious rent amount landlords place on their houses combined with the minimum wage set in place for workers.

Commenting, an X-handler @Keniemoh4real09 said, “This can’t work in Nigeria considering the obnoxious rent amount most especially in Lagos ranging from 650k to 900k for a one or two bedroom apartment, people will have to be paying between 50k and 75k monthly. What’s the minimum wage?” He questioned.

Another said, “Nigeria isn’t at the level of setting up monthly house rent payments. We have more people living under the middle class. The poverty rate in Nigeria is higher than normal. We need a working economy.”

As one handler asserted that state governors owe civil servants’ salaries in arrears, another questioned the feasibility of the bill in a system without steady employment and payment methods. See more.

Meanwhile, Lagos State, on Monday, vowed to enforce a monthly rental policy before the end of 2024 or early next year.

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