If you live and work in Lagos and are not an OBO, you know the struggle of renting real estate in Lagos too well. Not only are houses overpriced, you're usually forced to save to pay 2 years rent upfront, in spite of the Lagos tenancy laws prohibiting landlords from demanding such.
So you can imagine my excitement when Andela Co-founder, Iyin Aboyeji tweeted this yesterday
It looked too good to be true so I thought I'd check it out. My initial excitement was doused by what I feel are ridiculously overpriced listings restricted to the Lekki highbrow area of Lagos. The lowest listing on the site is a 'self-contained' (Nigerian lingo for studio) apartment going for ₦75,000 a month with an initial payment of ₦300,000.
That right there is the catch; you have to put down ₦300,000 in the first month to be eligible to pay ₦75,000 monthly in the following months. It works the same way for higher value houses.
If you give it a fair second thought, this is actually a good deal for already Lekki-bound tenants:
3 bed in phase 1 with service charge and fees will cost ~N4.5m upfront. N1.25m upfront, N5.1m total is a great deal https://t.co/63Pk3QYxhH
— J B (@jaybi7) May 10, 2016
Obviously, Fibre.ng makes a profit over the total amount paid, in exchange for giving you the comfort of paying your rent on a monthly basis. This is very similar to how home ownership mortgages work in developed countries, sans the home ownership privilege.
Iyin Aboyeji makes it very clear that Fibre.ng is not his brainchild however. He only helped the founder, Obinna Okwodu, to bring it to reality.
— Obinna (@obinnaokwodu) May 10, 2016
Not taking away anything from Okwodu -- Fibre.ng is fundamentally a brilliant and much needed innovation -- but I am left unimpressed. That's until I can pay monthly rent for real estate within the mainland Lagos, at relatively good deals.
What do you think? Would you totally jump on Fibre.ng if they made monthly rent payment possible in mainland Lagos?