THE President of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyor and Valuers, Emmanuel Wike, has warned against the monthly rental payment proposal of the Federal Government, stressing that a proper framework to regulate the sector was not yet in place in Nigeria.

He advised the government to allow the forces of demand and supply to determine the rental value in the country, as anything contrary could lead to black market dealings, which might further worsen the economy.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had at the 10th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Lagos, advised state governments to enact laws that would enforce monthly rent payments in order to make houses more available to Nigerians.

The minister had said, “I am sure that our country will be much better when three years rent in advance, two years rent in advance or one year rent in advance for middle class working family residential homes become monthly rent, payable at the end of the month.”

Reacting to this in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the 28th Johnwood Ekpenyong Memorial lecture and 2022 Fellows’ Induction ceremony, Wike said the government cannot control what it does not have.

He said, “We discussed this matter in our National Mandatory and Continuing Professional Development meeting and our members spoke well. First of all, you cannot control what you do not have.

“Over 60 to 70 per cent of of the real estate development or housing is owned by corporate organisations and private individuals. If you compare that with what government has, you will find out that there will be a very big gap.

“If the supply side of the government is more than the private side, that is the time you can talk about monthly rent but for now the government wants to regulate what it does not have.

“Agreed, that one of the duties of government is to bring in regulations, but in the real estate sector, I will advise that they should allow demand and supply to determine rental value.”

He continued, “If you want to regulate the sector, is the framework there? The answer is No. Do we have a robust mortgage system? What about the access to land that will make people to build more houses?

“Has the land use decree been amended in such a way that people will have free access to land and begin to develop more houses? Where these things are in place, the framework is already there.

“We are not against the government but what we are saying is that there must be a framework where these things can work. It is not possible for you to impose law and at the end of the day you will not be able to regulate the people, this will bring in a black market that might worsen the economy.”

Source : Punch