Pains of tenancy in Abuja
Abuja is the federal capital city of Nigeria, with many unoccupied houses. Many estates spring up on daily bases yet accommodation still remains the biggest problem. In this piece our reporter takes a look at the pains of tenants in their quest for accommodation in the city.
The believe by many Nigerians that the FCT is a land of opportunities in terms of employment and getting luxury life resulting in the daily influx of the people into the city.
Aside being the seat of power and the fake impression given by money bag politicians and business class, people drift to the city wanting to also partake in the sharing of the national cake.
The development is not only telling on the available infrastructures in the city but landlords and developers seize the opportunity to exploit the people who are eager to have a roof over their head.
It is believed that Nigeria’s housing deficit is about 17 million which compounds tenant woes in their scramble for the available ones. The deficit, according to Daily Trust findings, makes developers and landlords to have different prices for the same apartment depending on the rush for it.
Meanwhile, accommodation in areas like Maitma. Asokoro, Wuse, Garki and Gwarinpa are exclusive reserve of the super rich hence the many unoccupied houses abound in those areas. But the satellite towns like Kubwa, Nyanya, Karu, Nyanya, and Lugbe among others are mainly occupied by the low and middle class worker and are characterized by yearly increase of rent.
An Estate Surveyor and Valuer, Udosen Warsaw, told Daily Trust that it costs between N2.5 million and N3 million to rent a two-bed apartment in areas such as Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse 11, one-bed room apartment cost between, N1 million and N1.5 million and three-bed room apartment cost between N3 million and N6 million per annum depending on the finishing, location and security of the area.
It was also gathered a self- contained cost between N150,000 and N200,000 in the satellite towns such as Kubwa, Lugbe and Karu areas per annum, while a one-bed room flat cost between N250,000 and N300,000 in those areas while it costs between N400, 000 and N700, 000 to rent a two-bed room and three-bed room apartment too.
As a result of the high cost of rent, some residents who could not afford it have taken accommodation in uncompleted buildings that abound in the city while those who can manage to afford it face yearly increment.
Residents who spoke with our reporter on the pains they go through in the course getting accommodation lamented the arbitrary yearly increase of rent by house owners. They however called for a rent control policy that would control the excesses of unscrupulous house owners to ease their pains.
Idris Mojob, a tenant who resides at Dutse Alhaji, lamented that his rent is being increased on a yearly bases by his landlord without putting additional things on the house.
“I live in a single room apartment on a rent of N75,000 per year. Initially we were paying N60,000 but last year it was increased to N75,000. It is outrageous but we don’t have alternative,” he said.
According to him, the standard of the room is not commensurate with the rent collected by the landlord, adding that the house owners are only out to make money at the expense of their tenants.
Meanwhile, a certified Estate Surveyor and Valuer, Udosen Warsaw, who spoke on the issue, said “Government should look for cheap ways of constructing affordable houses because if the cost of construction is reduced, the rent would also reduce too. They should also come up with law and policy that would make provision of affordable housing possible so that there would alternative accommodation to private developers who are out to make money,” he said.
Panoramic view of some of Abuja’s multi-storey commercial complexes