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Rising Rent Worries Ijebu-Ode Residents

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The persistent increase of rent by landlords has become a source of concern for residents of Ijebu-Ode in Ogun.

Some of the residents, who spoke with our correspondent recently in Ijebu-Ode, described the increase in rent as unjustifiable and therefore, exploitative.

The residents appealed to both the state and local governments to rescue them from the arbitrariness of the landlords by persuading them to stop the unnecessary increases in rent.

They noted that if the problem persisted, it could compel tenants to relocate to near-by towns where rent was affordable.

They therefore urged government to commence the construction of low income housing to ease their burden.

A survey conducted by our correspondent, revealed that a three bedroom flat in government reserved areas cost N9,000 monthly with the landlords asking for one year down payment.

This is apart from legal charges and the commission payable to either the agent or caretaker of the house.

The survey further showed that a two bedroom flat could be hired out for N5,000, while a room could go for N2,000, with a self-contained abode going for N6,000 in high density areas.

Mrs Olufunke Ibrahim, a business woman, who spoke with NAN, said her family could not bear the leap in rent.

According to her, the monthly cost of the “room-and-parlour” in which her family is staying, was increased from N3, 000 to N5, 000 by the landlord.

She said the landlord did not bother to offer any explanation for the increase.

“When we packed into the house, it was N2, 500 we paid. After a year, the rent was increased to N3, 500.

“Now the landlord just informed us that the rent has been increased to N5, 000 without giving any reason.

“This situation is becoming unbearable. Government needs to do something urgent to regulate the activities of these landlords,” she said.

In his reaction, Mr Adelodun Abdulkareem, a civil servant in the state, said the N1,500 rent he used to pay monthly for the one bedroom flat he was occupying, had just been increased to N2, 500.

He explained that efforts to persuade the landlord to reduce the rent to N2,000, failed.

He said: “I pleaded with him when he announced the increase in rent but he refused to listen. Instead, he said if I was not comfortable with it I could pack out.

“The irony of it is that he does not maintain the house. It does not have a decent toilet facility. No water, but we are managing.

“We are managing it because if we decide to vacate the house, we are still going to find ourselves at the mercy of some other landlords.

“We implore government to come to our rescue by enacting laws that will regulate house rents and enforce it in the interest of the masses,” he said.

Reacting, Mr Aina Bolajoko, a landlord, told NAN that the rise in rent was due to the influx of people, especially students, to the town.

He explained that with the increase in the population of the town, side by side with shortage of houses, the hike in rent was inevitable.

“The only solution is for more houses to be built. Ijebu population is now growing everyday with the arrival of more and more people.

“If we have more houses for rent, this would bring about competition which would in turn bring the house rent down,” he stated.

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CBN Releases N756bn To Over 3m Farmers To Boost Food Security

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says it has released the sum of N756.51 billion to 3,734,938 small holder farmers, cultivating 4.6 million hectares of land, to boost the Federal Government’s food security initiative.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, made this known while presenting a communiqué from the bank’s recently held, 280th meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Emefiele said that N120.24 billion of the sum was extended for the 2021 wet season to 627,051 farmers for 847,484 hectares of land, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
“The sum of N121.57 billion was disbursed to 32,617 beneficiaries.
“For the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), N318.17 billion was released to 679,422 beneficiaries, comprising 572,189 households and 107,233 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs),’’ he said.
Emefiele revealed that the apex bank also expended huge sums in its youth investment scheme, to empower Nigerian youths, and to reduce unemployment by providing to the creative sector and Information Technology.
“Under the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF), the Bank released N3.0 billion to 7,057 beneficiaries, of which 4,411 were individuals and 2,646 SMEs.
“Under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), N3.22 billion was disbursed to 356 5 beneficiaries across movie production, movie distribution, software development, fashion, and IT verticals,’’ he said.
The CBN Governor also revealed that the apex bank had invested close to N1trillion to boost the real sector of the economy, covering 251 real sector projects.
He said that the bank’s intervention also spanned health sector support initiatives and electricity distribution.
“Under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility, the Bank released N923.41 billion to 251 real sector projects, of which 87 were in light manufacturing, 40 in agro-based industry, 32 in services and 11 in mining.
“On the N100 billion, Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), N98.41 billion was disbursed for 103 health care projects, of which, 26 are pharmaceuticals and 77 are in the hospital services.
“Similarly, the sum of N232.54 million was disbursed to five beneficiaries under the CBN Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention (Grant) Scheme (HSRDIS) for the development of testing kits and devices for COVID-19 and Lassa Fever.
“On the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), N36.04 billion was disbursed to 17 Meter Asset Providers to nine Distribution Companies (DisCos), for the procurement and installation of 657,562 electricity meters,’’ Emefiele said.

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Siat Assures Host Communities Of Fair Deal … Offers 15 Varsity Students Scholarships

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As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to its host communities, an agro-allied company located in Rivers State, Siat Nigeria Limited, has assured that it would continue to cater for the wellbeing and needs of the indigenes of the communities where it is doing business even as it has offered undergraduate scholarship awards to 15 students from the areas.
The company, which gave the assurance during the presentation of scholarship awards to the students at its corporate headquarters in Ubima Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area recently, said it would continue to promote a harmonious working relationship with its host communities and strive as much as possible to contribute to their growth and development.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Felix Nwabuko, who gave the indication in an address during the company’s this year’s undergraduate scholarship programme, said the scholarship initiative is just one of the corporate social responsibility lined up by the company for its host communities.
According to him, the university scholarship award is intended to assist and encourage students of the host communities in the areas of Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Accounting and Engineering.
While congratulating the beneficiary students on their success during the scholarship examination, Nwabuko noted that they are by this award, ambassadors of not only their communities but Siat Nigeria Limited, and urged them to exhibit good behaviour throughout the duration of their university education.
“It is our fervent belief that the beneficiaries will avail themselves of this singular opportunity and study hard to become good citizens of not only the communities they came from but the society at large”, he said.
Nwabuko commended the government at both the state and local levels for providing the enabling environment for the company’s operations as well as the peace the firm has enjoyed from the host communities.
He noted with delight that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and its associated harsh economic effects, Siat Nigeria Limited did not lay off its workers like other companies including banks, stressing that it was because the company took into consideration the excellent relationship and goodwill it has with the host communities.
The beneficiaries of the scholarship were drawn from the company’s Ubima and Elele estates.
The first round of the scholarship programme took place in 2016 and the beneficiaries, according to the company, have all graduated.

By: Donatus Ebi

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AKK Project Will Enhance Gas Utilisation For Industrialisation – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says successful completion of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, AKK Project in 2023 would enhance domestic gas utilisation as the mainstay for national industrialisation.
Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Gas Sector Stakeholders (AKK) Forum organised by the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN) yesterday in Kano.
He was represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.
“Today’s event reinforces our commitments to realizing the inherent potentials of gas usage as a national catalyst for achieving economic diversification from crude oil and as transition period to the renewable energy,” he said.
He revealed that the project would also increase government revenue and create more jobs opportunities for the unemployed Nigerians.
The President said that many companies had been shut down due to power supply problem across the country.
He explained that it would take two to three years to reactivate those industries to their optimal performance.
Buhari also said that the Federal Government has reduced the price of gas from 2 dollars 50 cents to 2 dollars 18 Cents.
“Let me use this medium to announce that following successful negotiations between Federal Government of Nigeria and organized unions, the price of gas has been reduced from $2.50 Cents to $2.18 Cents, with immediate effects,” he said.
He said that all the relevant stakeholders had been communicated on the issue.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that the AKK project had been on the drawing board for the past 30 years.
Kyari said when completed, it would provide enough gas for both domestic and export purposes.
“Nigeria has huge gas resources, gas means prosperity and delivering gas is an opportunity creation,” he said.
He pointed out that the project would revive about 232 industries along AKK corridor.
In his remarks, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, commended the Federal Government for the project, which he said, would also assist to enhance socioeconomic activities in the state.

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