Nigerians may start paying property rent on a monthly basis going by the latest resolution between the federal and state governments on the matter, OKECHUKWU NNODIM reports The clamour for the monthly payment of rent by clients in the housing sector received attention at the recently concluded sixth meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development. The council is the highest gathering of senior officials from the federal and state governments, as well as stakeholders and experts in the built industry. At the meeting of permanent secretaries during the council, senior government officials from the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, as well as those from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Works/Housing sector) agreed to enact a law that would allow monthly rental payments across the country. In a 52-page report on the meeting of permanent secretaries at the sixth NCLHUD, which was obtained by our correspondent from the FMPWH in Abuja, the officials also resolved that the law would be enforced, as they noted that its enforcement would enhance access to housing finance. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, recently charged property developers to reduce their rents and the value of properties in consideration of the economic hardship across the country. He advised them to work out ways of tackling the problem of high house rents and advance payments, particularly in major cities across the country. Fashola had said, “Let me just ask you a question since everybody is here. Is there nothing that we can do in this country about this practice of demanding rent for two, three years in advance from people who get their salaries monthly in arrears? Is there nothing that can be done? We can’t continue like this.” The minister, while buttressing his argument, insisted that operators in the sector must question the practice, stressing that the increase in the cost of other commodities could also be as a result of high rents being charged by developers and landlords.