OrderPaperToday – Discordant opinions on Thursday, characterised the Senate Public Hearing on a bill seeking to compel Landlords in the Federal Capital Territory to receive monthly rent payment advancement.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West) and was referred to the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing, and Urban Development for further legislative inputs after it scaled the second reading in the upper chamber.
The proposed law is seeking for monthly payments for old tenants and a maximum of three months advance payment, as against one or two years being collected by many of the landlords.
At the public hearing held at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Civil Service Union, Landlords and Tenants Association, etc, supported the proposed law while the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria and Nigerian Institute of Building, kicked against it.
A representative of the NLC, Benson Upah, while presenting his memorandum, said that “Nigeria stands alone in payment of yearly rent. Rent payments in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, are done on monthly basis.”
Accordingly, he commended the Senate for coming up with the legislative proposal, describing it as masses-oriented.
Also supporting the bill, Prince Rilwan Saheed Akinolu, who made a presentation on behalf of the Landlords and Tenants Association in Nigeria, said that if enacted into law, it would be a win-win situation for both parties.
However, kicking against the bill, the Registrar of Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria, Ifeanyi Uzonwanne, said that the proposed legislation was wrong-headed, saying that stakeholders in the property rental industry were not just Landlords and Tenants.
“Other than the Landlords and Tenants, other stakeholders in the industry include the Investors, Financiers, Banks, Mortgage Houses, Insurers, Artisans, Professionals, etc, whose interests are not put into consideration.
The key to solving the problems the bill seeks to cure is the application of very sound economic policies. To progress in the passage of the bill without recourse to issues herein raised, will unleash great harm to the economy,” he said.
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Professor Martin Dada, who represented the Nigerian Institute of Building, said that since inputs into construction were not regulated, it was naive and wrong, attempting regulating the outputs.
In his closing remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), said that all submissions made, would guide the Committee in arriving at a report to be presented to the Senate.