COVID-19: Nigerian lawyer gives tenants three months rent free

Food aid at a Lagos warehouse during lockdown
Food aid at a Lagos warehouse during lockdown
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A Nigerian lawyer, Chief Abdullia Tony Dania ESQ, has given tenants using his properties three months rent free as his support towards reducing the hardship brought by coronavirus.

He has also called on both private and public institutions others to emulate him in reaching out to others.

While both the Federal Government of Nigeria and Lagos State Government are yet to announce specific payments of funds to citizens, to help in their sustenance while staying at home, I must commend the Government, particularly the Governor of Lagos State, for all the efforts made so far in contending this coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

I thank members of the medical team who have continually risked their lives to save lives.

Deal of the day

I also thank the donors of billions of naira in cash and in kind, to the FG and the LASG, to augment government logistics in the fight against coronavirus.

I am a legal practitioner with just five juniors and six staff (including 2 security). I want to plead with the FGN, LASG, all landlords/landladies, including government, all the banks, other financial institutions, that granted loans that re-subsisting, owners of schools (including universities), private and public, all telephone services operators, all cable and internet services providers, all public utility services operators like Water Corporation, LAWMA, IKEDC, etc, to grant waivers of rents, suspension of the payment of interest on loans, payment for services, cable TV, data, electricity bills, etc, without  interrupting the enjoyment of those services, tenancy, data, cable and internet services, free, for three months, starting from 1st of  April 2020 and terminating on the 1st of July 2020.

I want to start with myself and assist within the limits of my ability. All my tenants at Apapa, Jakande Estate Oke Afa, Isolo and at Solape in Ejigbo, all in Lagos State, and those in South Ibie Iyakpi, in Etsako West, Edo state, have been and are hereby requested not to pay any rent to me or my agent, for three months, starting from 1st of April – 1st of July 2020.

While implementing the above, I urge the FGN to re-organize the supplies of foods or cash to indigent citizens and residents, because the current arrangement where people come to designated centers, is encouraging crowded gatherings with its attendant risks of the spread of coro.

Every street and estate have EXCOs, we have obas, baales, olori-ebis, eze ndigbo, seriki Hausa, in every main towns in Lagos State, and in Nigeria.

In every state we have a CP, Area commands, DPOs, NURTW, Presidents of various “Kparakpos” unions, chief imams, general overseers, pastors, etc. can be used to convince the populace to voluntarily comply with all the restriction directives and recommended safety measures. The riots in Katsina on the last jumat and in Warri could have been avoided. They can also be used to distribute foods and other items to indigent persons among them.

The use of force, as it is currently been done or violent assaults against violators of the restrictive order, might cause avoidable avoidable communal reaction, as it happened in Warri. Most Nigerians are hungry and angry. Whereas, those aforementioned persons could have easily reached their neighbours to educate and persuade them. There would have been an almost 100% compliance.

The absence of electricity in majority of homes is a very big problem. Almost everybody is using generator. Seventy per cent of available generators use petrol, this is a serious issue.

The N2 further reduction in the petrol price is good, but insignificant. The FG should reduce the price to N75 P/L of petrol for just 30 days, 1st of April to 1st of May; let petrol sell for 75k P/litre and restore it back to the normal price after 30 days. Do this and you shall know by popular reactions, how appreciative Nigerians can be.

The FG can achieve N75 P/L of petrol for 30 days, by using the funds so far donated and calling for more donations, and getting the major and independent oil marketers to cooperate, whichever way possible.

The fight against coro is a battle we must win,by the grace of God .

The LG are yet to be seen in any proactive  action . The same persons mentioned above, can also be used to sustain the “stay at home” directive, and to also identify those who might have the decease without stigmatizing  him/her, convincing him or her to isolate, then call on NCDC or any other relevant Govt Agency, to come for the person.

Text kits are available (not from China, pls), the landing cost is expensive for now, but a Govt supervised syndication in each Town or Estates or combination of 5 streets in a village or Town, can procure one. On my street we fixed the road and  we are currently working on getting a transformer (with the supervision of IKEDC) to boast electricity supplies.

LASG is a pacesetter. I plead with them to implement the above.

My next advice after the exit of “coro” which will be very soon, Insha Allah and in Jesus name, would be how LASG can achieve the fixing of not less than five streets in every LGA every month, i.e. 60 streets, every year in each LGA. But, first, let’s join hands in sending this coro packing from Nigeria.

Finally, while we wait for our scientists to come up with a vaccine or cure for coro, I want us to also encourage our herbal  medicine doctors to research on a possible cure for the coro. You never can tell, we might find a “Nigerian cure” for it. God bless Nigeria.

Thank you.

Chief Abdullia Tony Dania ESQ can be reached via email: [email protected]