State governments have been encouraged by former minister of electricity, works, and housing, Babatunde Fashola, to examine their tenancy legislation and mandate that landlords collect rent on a monthly basis.
During the book launch of his book, “Nigerian Public Discourse: The Interplay of Empirical Evidence and Hyperbole,” he made this call on Thursday in Lagos.
He claims that a large number of renters are burdened by having to pay their rent in advance for three years or longer, which also plays a role in the low occupancy rate of many homes.
Declaring data to be the “most important currency in the world, which no central bank could print,” he emphasised the need of having correct data to inform national planning and policy decisions.
“That is not the only reason, but if you do not understand how dramatic and painful that three, four or five years rent has become to our nation, we have not consciously done anything to it,” he said.
“Can we bring it down from three years to one year? Can we hopefully bring it down to six months? Can we let it coincide with when people get paid? At the end of the month instead of in advance?
“So accurate data will help us determine how many we are, what amount of water we need, what quantity of food, data makes this very important, accurate data therefore will be beneficial for us.
“Life without shortage of basic needs, like food, like water, like shelter and energy will be a good life, and data is critical to this objective.”
The author and scholar who reviewed the book, Opeyemi Agbaje, complimented Fashola on his well-reasoned work, which dispelled myths, fallacies, and exaggerations regarding a range of Nigerian topics.
According to him, the book’s sixteen chapters addressed a variety of subjects, including minimum wage, government, poverty, corruption, and the Nigerian constitution.
He urged Nigerians, particularly those in the media, to look for accurate information, figures, and data, pointing out that if people were not well-informed, hyperbole may flourish.
He went on to say that Fashola recognised in the book that there is a lot of false information out there and that the book tries to correct it.
Attendees at the book event were Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the former senior special assistant to the president on sustainable development goals, Obafemi Hamzat, the deputy governor of Lagos, and Fashola’s wife, Abimbola.
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