Pains of ten­ancy in Abuja

Daily Trust - - PROPERTY - By Us­man A. Bello

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

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