Former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, traded his hard hat for a literary hat on Thursday, launching his book, “Nigerian Public Discourse: The Interplay of Empirical Evidence and Hyperbole.” But fear not, dear readers, for Fashola’s signature wit and candor were not left at the door!
In a move that sent shivers down the spines of landlords nationwide, Fashola tackled the elephant in the living room (or should we say, the three-year-rent elephant): the exorbitant cost of housing. Forget dry, academic jargon, Fashola went straight for the jugular, asking, “Have we not, as a nation, consciously ignored the drama and pain of three, four, or even five years’ rent?”
“Can we bring it down from three years to one year? Can we hopefully bring it down to six months? Can we let it coincide with when people get paid? At the end of the month instead of in advance?”
His words echoed like a landlord demanding an extra month’s deposit: “Can we bring it down? Can we make it less painful? Can we, dare I dream, make rent payments align with when people actually get paid?” The crowd roared with laughter, a collective sigh of relief escaping their tenant hearts.
But Fashola wasn’t done. He channeled his inner data scientist, declaring, “Accurate data is the key! We need to know how many of us there are, how much water we guzzle, how much food we devour. Data is the magic ingredient for a life free from the tyranny of basic needs!”
One could almost hear the collective “amen” from the audience, their imaginations conjuring a world where rent wasn’t a month’s salary in advance, where water flowed freely, and electricity wasn’t a luxury good.
Fashola’s book launch wasn’t just about launching a book, it was about launching a conversation, a hilarious, data-driven crusade for a better life for all Nigerians. Whether his words will translate into concrete action remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: he’s got the people talking, and the landlords sweating. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have a book to read (and maybe a protest to plan against those three-year rent contracts).