By Adewumi Ojo
An anti-corruption crusader, Center for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has joined other stakeholders to express their displeasure towards the newly passed Lagos state Land Use Act describing it as inhumane and an anti-welfarism of the people.
Controversies have been the hallmark of the newly signed law with many stakeholders calling for its reversal and review.
It would be recalled that the state House of Assembly passed the Land Use Charge Bill 2018 on Monday January 29, 2018 and was subsequently signed into law by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on February 5, 2018.
The new law focuses on simplifying the payment of property which will also see an increase in the state internally generated revenue (IGR).
According to the new law which is a repeal of 2001 Land Use Charge Law, there will be 25 per cent increase in charge if payment is not made between 45 and 75 days and a further 50 per cent incensement if it’s not paid after 105 days.
Furthermore it also indicates that property will be liable to enforcement if charges are not paid at the end of 135 days.
With this development, the Executive Director of Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Comrade Debo Adeniran, farowned at the upsurge rate describing it as a law aimed to further impoverish the masses.
He subsequently joined other stakeholders in calling for its urgent reversal and instead move towards improvement of the welfare of the people.
“CACOL joins all conscientious voices to call for the reversal of the increment in the Land Use charge, and the re-introduction of the Tenement Rate. The economic sensitivity of the effect of the recent recession is to deliver a good level of welfarism to the people who are the worst hit and depressed so far”.
“As much as this state has the envious record of almost being self-sustaining courtesy of its aggressive heavily taxed and brutally displaced from their homes and place of work. The general cry is for the state to put a human face to its developmental plans. It is demographically wrong to build a city only for the rich. CACOL have raised it at every opportunity that class is of the essence in societal and city development. A mega city cannot exist without the masses.”
Both Manufacturer Association of Nigeria and the Organized Private sector have reiterated their voices against the law which they considered as a threat to the development of the state building sector.
The associations also agreed that the hike and repealed of the 2001 law will amount to turbulent season for the masses.
Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN) through its president, Dr. Frank Jacobs believes that if the law should be allow other states will also tap from it and enforce it in their respective states.
“If allowed to stand, other states in the country will soon begin their own increment of the LUC.
“The increase is too much; it is too high for businesses to cope with it. It would lead to increase in the cost of production for businesses, which would, in turn, lead to the increase in the prices of goods, and subsequently, inflation,” Said the President.
Recently the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said the review is necessary against the backdrop of the need for urbanization in the state which requires a minimum of $50bn in the next five years to bridge the gap of infrastructure deficit in the date.