Reps urge govt to regulate rents, impose taxes on houses
Worried by the alarming cost of accommodation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the House of Representatives on Thursday urged the President Mohammadu Buhari-led administration to urgently put in place a policy that would regulate house rents and impose taxes on unoccupied houses that have remained so for a specified period of time.
By unanimous consent, the parliament also mandated its standing committees on FCT as well as Housing to commence investigate the reasons for the astronomical rent in the territory and report back to the chamber for further legislative action.
The House decision was sequel to the adoption of a motion introduced on the floor by Segun Alexander Adekola who raised the alarm over the rate of rent in the territory, warning that if the abnormal situation was not addressed, the middle and low-income earners residing in the FCT will continue to suffer.
Adekola recalled that in the past, government took the lead in constructing residential houses for the citizenry, but worried about the federal government’s current policy thrust that recognizes only the private sector as the main solution to the housing deficit on the country.
This, according to him, has given room for indiscriminate charges being placed on rent by private developers.
This lawmaker lamented that at a time when many Nigerians do not have access to anything close to a decent accommodation, the number of completed, but unoccupied structures litter the nation’s capital in the prime areas of Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse and Garlki, thereby forcing many people to live in the outskirts of the city.
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