Some members of the National Youth Service Corps serving in Enugu State have expressed concern over the high cost of house rent in Enugu and its environs.
The corps members, who spoke in separate interviews, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu that the situation had posed much difficulty on them as they were paid a paltry N800 and N1,000 as monthly allowance by the state government.
NAN reports that the cost of rent of one bedroom within the State Capital Territory was as high as N300,000 per annum, including agency and lawyer fees.
A one room self-contained within the same location rents for between N180,000 and N250,000 per annum, including agency and lawyer fees.
One room located in a public compound with shared convenience costs between N100,000 and N150,000 per annum, including agency and lawyer fees.
A corps member, Odichi Joseph, described the high cost of rent in the state capital and adjoining communities as “alarming”.
Joseph said four to five corps members usually combined to rent an accommodation between N250,000 and N300,000 in some obscure locations.
She said such areas were usually far-flung from their places of primary assignments.
The corps member said it had become necessary for the state government to regulate the cost of renting houses in some areas in the state.
She said some house owners, agents and lawyers were creating hardship for tenants.
Joseph said the hardship they were subjected to in terms of the cost of living in Enugu was a far cry from the N19,800 monthly allowance they receive.
Also, another corps member, Jenifer Ugah, appealed to the state government to intervene by impressing it on house owners to review downward their house rents.
Ugah said the Federal Government should also make it mandatory for every corps employer to take care of their accommodation issues.
“Most corps employers do not even pay monthly allowances apart from the one the Federal Government is paying,” she said.
She said the involvement of lawyers and agents in house hire without regulation had become worrisome in Enugu as some lawyers helped in influencing the cost.
Also Busayo Arowosegbe said most of the houses had no potable water in spite of the high costs at which they were given on rent.
Arowosegbe said she and few of her friends paid N130,000 for a small room with no potable water.
“You need to see the ‘cubicle’ that we are forced to rent at N130,000 per annum,” she said.
She appealed to the state government to provide affordable lodges where corps members serving in the state capital could reside in their service year.
NAN reports that the high cost of house rent in Enugu and its environ has generated a big discourse in the social space as Enugu now rates as one of the most expensive cities in the country.