Worried by the continu
ous increase in house rents in Nigeria, especially in cities like Port Harcourt and Abuja, some civil servants have added their voices to the call for governments at the federal and state levels to come up with policy that will regulate house rents.
Speaking while interracting with The Tide in Port Harcourt, the public servants posited that the high cost of accommodation had made it difficult for some civil servants to live in city centres closer to their offices.
They opined that most of the civil servants were living in faraway places even at the outskirts of the city centres because they cannot afford the house rents there.
Commenting on the issue while interacting with The Tide, a federal civil servant, Mr Bipoe Johnson expressed worries over the rate at which house owners take advantage of high demand of accommodation in Port Harcourt to increase rent anyhow.
Johnson said that he was fed up with the high cost of living in Port Harcourt, which is also very high in Abuja, adding that he no longer had saving as he used to when in Benue State.
He said “when I was still in Benue State, I saved 80 per cent of my salary and I was living in a better way with my family. My house rent for one bedroom flat was N70,000.00 and the maximum school fees I paid for each of my children was N7,000.00, that is absolutely impossible here in Port Harcourt, even at the Federal capital.
On her part, Mrs M. Oladimesi said “what I pay for my apartment increases every year without any cogent reason from my landlord.”
She said that many useful man hours were lost daily as some workers often get office late and tired because they live in faraway places, and habitually leave the office before the closing time so as to avoid traffic congestion.
Oladimesi also called on government to have a policy that would regulate house rents in Nigeria, particularly in highly demanding metropolis like Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja.
For Mr Nehemiah Ogeh, civil servants’ productivity will be boosted if the government provides accommodation for them in locations near their offices.
Ogeh also appealed to the government to put in place a system that will regulate house rents, and penalize owners of houses that are locked-up and unoccupied within a specific period.
Meanwhile one of the landlords, Mr ThankGod Madu had insisted that he is inclined to increase the rent for his house in line with prevailing socio-economic realities in the society.
He nonetheless stressed that the estate agents usually inform landlords about the prevailing trends in house rents within the neighbourhood, adding that the landlords have no other choice than to heed the advice of the agents.