Real estate agents in Lagos State have come to the conclusion that the little increase effected in the minimum wage by the Federal Government is a call for landlords to jerk up the cost of accommodation in the state.
The agents, speaking with PropertyMart reporter said that tenants who claim they don’t have enough money to offset the rent will have no cogent reasons for not paying their bills. One of the agents, Chief Fabian Nwaolisa said that government would have made the increase worth it bearing in mind that whenever there is salary increase, inflation rate will rise up. He regretted that, regulation of every aspect of human life in the country has continue to nosedive as operators do everything to avade regulation. In the same vein, Mrs. Iyabo Oduntan, a consultant on real estate said that earlier, shelter in the country has not been made affordable to the poor in the society. She said that for accommodation to be affordable to Nigerians, there must be government intervention which will come through either mass housing or credit facilities that will enable people to access funds to build their own houses. Earlier in the year, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara had called for the payment of a living wage to Nigerian workers instead of a minimum wage.
According to him, the N30, 000 minimum wage being canvassed can barely feed a small family unit. He added that it is only when workers are dignified with wages that can provide them minimum comfort that their productivity level will increase. The speaker noted that the two focal points that must be given priority by the government are poverty and corruption because while the former, caused mainly by underemployment and unemployment, is a threat to democracy, the latter fundamentally undermines democratic institutions and values. He had earlier proposed for a more reasonable living wage that will not only provide for basic needs of the workers but also enable them to make provisions for themselves that will lift them out of poverty and lead to a reduction in corruption.