From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation (HURIDE) and Campaign for Democracy (CD), South East, have called on governors of South East states to intervene in the astronomical/high cost of house rent in the region.
The groups who lamented the high cost of house rent in the zone which has contributed to more hardship leading to deaths in the recent time and called for immediate intervention by the leadership of the zone.
The leader of the groups, Dede Uzor, in a statement, charged the governors of South East and other stakeholders such as traditional rulers and religious leaders not to remain indifferent but intervene in the matter.
He said that the astronomical increase in building materials has led to a rent increase in the zone and it is becoming unbearable to the people and embarrassing to the zone.
Uzor said it is unfortunate that houses built in the 80s, 90s and 2000s when the cost of building materials was still low and the landlords have even recouped the cost of building the houses were still charging high rent.
He said the cost of three bedroom apartments for those old houses has gone up to about N700,000 per annum while rent for three bedrooms of other buildings without water and alternative source of power is put at N500,000, respectively
Uzor described the rise in rent as condemnable, saying that some of these landlords are just “greedy and wicked”.
The leader of the groups said that the South East economy is a petty business economy which cannot sustain the high cost of house rents, stressing that no city in the South East is an economic or political capital like Lagos and Abuja, respectively, or an oil city like Port Harcourt to sustain such astronomical house rents.
He called on the governors of South East and other stakeholders in the zone to urgently intervene and address this issue before it gets out of hand by passing a law to reduce it and institute a punishment for the defaulters.
Uzor warned that the high cost of house rent coupled with present hardship ninth country could increase societal vices such as robbery, kidnapping, advance fee fraud, ritual murders and money rituals, prostitution and other crimes in the zone which already militating against society.