Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Ambode Bows To Pressure, Reduces Lagos Land Use Charge

Lagos State House of Assembly Ambode Bows To Pressure, Reduces Lagos Land Use Charge
Patty Aguilar | 18 March, 2018, 17:26

The state's Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, while addressing a press briefing yesterday, said the reduction in LUC followed extensive deliberations with stakeholders on the new rates.

The government said the commercial fee charge is reduced by 50 percent, while owner occupier third-party fee is reduced by 25 percent and the owner-occupier fee charge is reduced by 15 percent.

The Executive Director of Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), Comrade Femi Lawson who was elated at the new LUC review praised the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for its empathy with the people of the state. Property Occupied by Owner and Third Party & Property Used for Industrial and Manufacturing Purposes: These categories of property will now enjoy 25% discount.

"The Lagos State Executive Council chaired by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode resolved to make some concessions in line with stakeholders' demands", he added.

Stakeholders had criticised the increment of the LUC, insisting that it was capable of affecting business and the general financial wellbeing of Lagos residents.

Reacting, the Organised Private Sector, OPS, said any unilateral pronouncement by government that failed to address its concerns would not be acceptable, saying there were several avenues for litigation in the LUC. Therefore, LUC payers who have received their bills will no longer be penalised for late payment of bills issued in 2018, thereby providing additional relief to LUC payers. 5.

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In his reaction, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, said under the amended law, there is provision for establishment of five tribunals out of which one has been created in Ikeja and now operational, while the remaining four would be established in other administrative divisions of the State in Epe, Badagry, Ikorodu and Lagos Island. This means a commercial property valued at N20 million which was earlier billed N91,200 will now pay N45,600 per annum. 2.

"Consequently, we received a wide range of responses from our dialogue with various stakeholders on the amended Land Use Charge Law, 2018". This means that a N20 million property expected to pay N30,720 will now pay N23,040 per annum. This will help to reduce the burden of taxation on our citizens.

Ashade said all those who have paid would enjoy tax credit, with the excess paid transfered to next year. "This training is yet another effort aimed at ensuring that the Lagos State Public Service is not one of those organisations that, having realised the importance of the culture, still refuses or fails to embrace it", he said. The law prescribed that a property shall be liable to enforcement if payment is not made after 135 days of notice.

"It has been argued that the downward review recently announced represents the real level of charge originally decided by the state government".

Payment in instalment was also introduced in the new arrangement. He wondered the moral justification for a government that could not provide water, good roads and other necessary infrastructure to be hell bent on over taxing the people under the guise of generating revenue.

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