Stakeholders at a One-day public hearing parley organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly on the controversial Land Use Charge Law, have counseled that government revert back to the implementation of the old law, as the charges reflected in the new law are said to be inimical to property owners.
The demand for a reversal was communicated today, citing the amendment move by the house as a needless effort.
Speaking at the meeting, held at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium in the assembly premises, the stakeholders stated that the state government had no justification for the increme.
The meeting assumed a melting point when immediately after the Speaker Rt. Hon.Mudashiru Ajayi delivered his welcome address,the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), led by its Chairman, Mr. Adeshina Ogunlana, called for a postponement of the meeting to more a suitable date and later staged a walk-out with his members as well as the Joint Action Front Secretary Comrade Abiodun Aremu.
Adeshina said “we wrote the Speaker for the adjournment of the public hearing because of the short notice. The law is not at cabinet office, when we went to check.
“There must be a paper for us to see. The law and the amendment should be published in a national newspaper with two weeks notice,” he said.
He was pointedly asked to feed the house with the NBA’s stance by the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and the Chairman of the adhoc committee on the proposed amendment, Hon. Bayo Oshinowo,that
A representative of Lekki Residents Association, Olorogun James Emadoye stressed that the new law was arbitrary.
He observed that the people in Lekki Area of the state were being segregated, saying that they were being punished by the charges for houses in the area.
“Lagos State Government should revert to the status quo on the Land Use Charge. The state should expand the level of compliance of the rate rather than increasing the rate paid by the people.
“Lagos Assembly should spend the next nine months for consultation rather then rushing the law with an amendment,” he said.
This was also supported BH an estate valuer, Mr. Oladipupo Onabanjo, who cautioned that the law should not be retroactive, saying that it was signed in February, 2018 and takes effect from January.
Also Chairman of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Lagos State, Mr. Olurogba Orimolade faulted the way properties were being assessed in the state, adding that this should be equivalent to the annual income of the owners.
According to Mr. Richard Olaoye, the law did not take the Nigerian constitution into consideration.
He stated that the local governments ought to be in charge of Land Use Charge before it gets to the state government.
Another stakeholder, Mr. Babatunde Emmanuel wondered why his land use charge moved from less than N2,000 to N220,00 annually.
A representative of National Association of Private Schools Owners Association, Mr. Joseph Idornigie urged the government to exempt private schools from land use charge.
He stated that private school owners are offering social services and that parents of the children are paying taxes and that it would double taxation if the schools should also pay taxes.
“In Nigeria, we run schools through money generated from parents and the parents pay taxes. We should abolish commercial taxes from schools as schools run social services. If the government exempt places from taxes, why not schools,” he said.