The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Friday, expressed optimism of monthly rent payment.

Fashola expressed hope at a public lecture organised by the Yoruba Tennis Club in Lagos.

The Landmark Public Lecture had the theme: “What Can the President Do for Me?”

The minister, who noted that Nigeria’s president was not all-powerful, said that everybody had a duty to ensure a better life.

The minister said that no government had 100 per cent ownership of houses.

Fashola expressed concern about the plight of ordinary Nigerians in terms of rent payment.

He called on landlords to reduce house rent.

According to him, tenants go through much trauma and inconvenience when property owners demand about three years’ rent at once.

“Is it possible that something can move us to lower that (the rent) – just to lower it a little to six months or three months, and maybe, one day, we will collect rent monthly and even in arrears?

“It happens in other places. Those places where we love, those places where we want to be like.

“I am sure that it will happen in my life because it is the major reason for so many inconveniences.

“The point to me is that in a society where we are asking people, who receive their incomes at the end of the month in arrears, to bring three years’ rent in advance, there is an issue,” Fashola said.

He said that property, where much rent was being demanded, were large, if not totally, privately-owned.

“The Federal Government cannot legislate on rent.

“It is a state matter, and this state has a very proud history, in military and civilian times, of rent control, and there is still a lot that can be done.”

According to him, there is a lot that can be done in terms of mortgages to bridge the housing deficit.

He urged Lagos State to play a role in Federal Mortgage Bank to support the people.

“There is a lot to expect from the president but there is perhaps much more to ask from state and the local governments,” Fashola said.

On 2023, the minister urged the citizens to ask all aspiring leaders how they would make life better for the masses.

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