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Ekiti News reports that in response to the growing concerns raised by residents of Ekiti about exorbitant house rents and outrageous increase of rents by property owners in Ekiti State, Governor Biodun Oyebanji has taken decisive action to address the issue by initiating an engagement with Estate Agents in the State.

A government delegation led by the Special Adviser on Mortgage and Housing, Dr. Gboyega Oloniyo, engaged with the leadership and members of the Estate, Rent, and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN), Ekiti State chapter at their monthly meeting held in Federal Housing road , Ado Ekiti to review their operations and activities .

Dr. Oloniyoo expressed dissatisfaction with the high cost of living in the state, particularly the relentless hike in house rents. “Many have attributed this to Estate Agents who acquire properties from landlords at low costs and lease them out at exorbitant rates. This deprives average citizens of access to decent housing .

Dr Oloniyoo stated that many agents and landlords have inflicted pains on their tenants unnecessarily noting that shelter is essential and must be available, accessible and affordable .

The Special Adviser revealed that Governor Oyebanji’s administration is also working on ensuring housing availability and affordability for all in the state stating that 34 hectares of land have been approved for the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to build affordable houses with many other interventions in the pipeline to improve housing conditions in the state.

The Director-General of the Office of Community Communications, Mrs. Mary Oso-Omosotso, emphasized the need for guidelines and regulations to curb alleged extortion by the association, which they attributed to quacks infiltrating their ranks. “Any business that does not solve problems is not a business,” she stressed while urging the association to cooperate with the government to achieve the shared prosperity vision of Governor Oyebanji.

The association members expressed their gratitude to the Governor for visiting them and giving them opportunity of engagement . They acknowledged the validity of the public complaints and admitted that bad actors were operating within their ranks and would cooperate with government to flush them out.

They also pointed out that some landlords are part of the problem, as they build houses even in slums and lease them out at high prices similar to houses in more developed areas . They expressed their readiness to work with the government to bring sanity to their operations and to apprehend errant members.

Meanwhile, representatives of the DG/ SA Office of Transformation and Service Delivery (OTSD) , Dr. John Ekundayo assured members of the association of training and orientation programs aimed at changing mindsets and fostering professionalism .

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