A bill compelling monthly collection of rent in Abuja, the nation’s capital, has scaled a second reading at the Nigerian Senate.

Sponsored by Senator Smart Adeyemi, the legislation would make it easy for low income earners living in the nation’s capital to pay rent.

He argued that the current yearly payment system has impoverished Nigerians living in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“In the FCT, landlords demand between one to three years advance rent. This automatically has a huge burden on the masses,” he said. “Our economy has not fared better in supporting the advance payment. This tenancy system has continuously impoverished Nigerians.

“Many residents of FCT are finding it difficult to cope with huge rent payments, therefore legislation must be made towards a better society.

“This bill seeks to reduce advance payment for new tenants to three months, seeks to protect low income earners from any form of oppression, seeks to provide a window of legal action for any form of oppression and a safety net for landlords against any tenant,” he added.

Deputy Senate whip, Sabi Abdullahi, in his contribution, described as people-centred, the bill which scaled second reading and was referred to the committee on housing by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

The committee is expected to report back to the red chamber in four weeks time.