By Favour Nnabugwu
ABUJA — Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, yesterday, raised alarm over the high cost of rent in Abuja, saying a law to regulate landlords’ activities was underway.
The alarm came on the heels of startling house rents in the FCT, where tenants are made to pay between N5 million and N7 million for two years to occupy two or three bedroom flats.
Senator Mohammed noted that tenants in Western countries paid rents for between two weeks and six months and lamented that in Nigeria, particularly in Abuja, tenants were forced to pay two years and above at a time.
He, however, said the FCT Administration, FCTA, would soon have a policy shift that would embrace integration of urban renewal with existing Abuja natives residing in the FCT to ensure that they were well taken care of.
Mohammed emphasised that the new policy would encourage investors to buy lands where Abuja natives currently occupy, while the funds would be utilised to resettle them within the Territory.
The minister disclosed that FCTA raised its internally-generated revenue, IGR, by 27 per cent to N24 billion in 2011.
Mohammed, who promised that his administration would improve on the revenue this year, said the feat was achieved as a result of the aggressive measures adopted by the administration as well as reforms embarked upon by FCTA, especially in the land sub-sector.
He assured that the FCTA was not in conflict with the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, in anyway, adding that the establishment of the FCT Internal Revenue Board was to assist the government mop up diverse untapped revenue sources.