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…may come up with   law to crash rent

Members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers
(NIESV) have been charged to find a viable solution to address the
high cost of accommodation in Abuja.

The FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello gave this charge on
Wednesday while receiving members of NIESV who paid him a courtesy
visit in his office at Area 11, Garki Abuja.

Bello who challenged the body to reduce their professional fee also
revealed that the administration may soon come up with a law that
would force downward, cost of accommodation in the nation’s capital.

The Minister remarked that although the concept of Estate development
is a very laudable one, the industry is facing many challenges in the
territory, questioning the rationale behind payment of rent on annual
basis in the country.

Bello emphasized that as a professional body that is primarily
concerned with provision of houses, the NIESV has a responsibility to
ensure that accommodation does not get out of the reach of the common

He explained that the present administration under the leadership of
President Mohammed Buhari, is deeply concerned with the high cost of
accommodation in the territory and is working on measures that would
guarantee access to decent accommodation by the masses and less

His words: “As a body, you must take deliberate steps to bring down
the cost of accommodation through reduction of your charges and
commissions. I know that you charge between 10-15% but I think that
rate needs to come down or else at some point in the future,
legislation will force you to bring it down”.

The Minister wondered why in developed countries such as United
Kingdom and United states tenants pay rents on a monthly basis while
here in Nigeria the reverse is the case.

“Why should we pay rent annually in Nigeria; why should we pay two,
three years in advance. All the people you see here including the
Minister get their rent allowance on a monthly basis, only very few
organisations in Nigeria pay rent allowance annually in bulk. Why
can’t we start asking our tenants to pay rent monthly even if they are
in Asokoro, Maitama or wherever”, Bello said.

He said as part of efforts to bring down housing rates in Abuja the
FCT Administration has put the necessary machinery in motion to ensure
that all plots of land not developed within a stipulated period would
be revoked and re-allocated to willing developers, adding that the
number of uncompleted buildings and empty estate houses in the city is
very alarming and a committee would soon be set up to look into the

Bello who thanked the NIESV for his investiture as the Patron of the
professional body, promises to look into all the issues raised by the
President and Chairman of the FCT chapter on the need to enhance the
existing working relationship between the FCT administration and

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the FCT chapter of NIESV Mr.
Emmanuel Alao urged the Minister to constitute the Land Use Allocation
committee in line with the provisions of the Land Use Act in order to
check abuses in the land allocation process.

He, however, appealed to the Minister to ensure that at least two
Estate Surveyors are included in the committee, stressing that the
NIESV remains a willing partner in moving the Federal Capital
Territory forward.

High point of the event was the investiture of the Honorable as the
Patron of the NIESV conducted by the President Olorogun James Omeru.
The Permanent Secretary of the FCT Administration Dr. Babatope
Ajakaiye and other top officials witnessed the ceremony.

Abubakar Sani
Special Assistant (Media)
Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

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