N11.5m pitches NTDC against landlord

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In Nigeria
Mar 25th, 2014
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IS the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) owing its landlord, Union Properties Developers Limited (UPDL) N11.5 million? The agency claims it is not owing UPDL, an allegation which the landlord is denying.

UPDL’s agent Alonge Ogunmoyero and Company, in a March 7 letter, claimed that NTDC is owing N11.5million in rent on the three-storey at 168 Obafemi Awolowo Way Ikeja, Lagos, which it is using as its office.

In the letter addressed to the Director-General, NTDC, titled: Vacation of premises at 168 Awolowo Way, Ikeja, UPDL said NTDC’s stay after the expiration of its tenancy is hindering renovation of the property. He urged NTDC to pay up its debt and leave the premises forthwith.

The firm accused NTDC of trying to pack out without settling its debt. He alleged that NTDC in a letter by its Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Obafemi Ilesanmi, signified its intention to vacate the premises, citing financial constraints, describing such claim as bogus because it did not include the N11.5 million debt.

It explained that NTDC has been its tenant for seven years and wondered why it would want to pack out without settling its rent.

Reacting, NTDC’s lawyer Ibrahim Mark told The Nation that his client knows it is indebted to its landlord and would pay. He argued that the purported amount is not verifiable, adding that his client is not in possession of any letter of offer from the landlord and wondered how it arrived at the sum as NTDC never paid that much.

He alleged that the agent took the law into its hands by blocking his client from vacating the property. Mark said: “There is no letter of offer no acceptance. On what basis will NTDC agree to pay the said N11, 500,000? There is no document to prove the said sum? It is true the former NTDC director-general wanted to buy the building, but he didn’t do that before he left office. But the new director-general feels the place is too small for their operations with additional disadvantage of insufficient parking space.

“In addition, my client has been paying a particular sum. What changed that caused variance in the rental figure. I advise that they sit down with my client and discuss the issue amicably in order to arrive at an agreeable figure since there has never been any letter of offer nor acceptance for over six years.”

But the Principal Partner of the agency Mr. Alonge Ogunmoyero told The Nation that it is wrong for the tenant to blame the landlord for not having tenancy agreement. He asked why the tenant suddenly realised on the seventh year that there was no agreement, wondering on what basis it’s been paying its rent.

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