By Adewumi Ojo
The 1st Vice President of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Kunle Awobodu, has joined other major stakeholders in the construction industry to kick-against the newly repealed Land Use Act Charge describing it as an insensitive action by Ambode led state government.
Controversies have recently encompassed the newly repeal Land Use Act of 2001 which indicates an outrageous charges of almost 200 to 400 percent with stiff penalties for defaulters.
The law has subsequently received public backlash and attacks from Professional bodies including the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Organized Private Sector (OPS) and some other relevant organizations.
Kunle Awobodu though lauded the state government recent Infrastructural face-lift given to the state including some important on-going construction work across the state but however disregarded the repeal of the 2001 Law regarding it as an inhumane move that will further impoverish the people.
“Though the state government is trying to lift the face of development, and also trying to increase its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). It’s an Idea that can never be faulted if we need to grow, but the review of the Land Use Act is coming at a wrong time. There are now some physical developments in the state which means government is spending a lot, but this is not the way to tag from the people.”
According to him the new law if implemented will compound the woes of the people who are yet to fully recover from the baptism of economic recession.
He encouraged government to show more commitment by being sensitive to the plight of the people following effect of economic recession that engulfed the nation due to high level of corruption and fall in prices of oil at international market.
“As a professional in this sector, many of our members are languishing from lack of jobs, people are not getting much construction project to execute, and many of our people have already relocated from their offices to their homes.
“It’s an irony now, when there’s glut in the property market and construction projects are suspended, now it’s the sector government want to use for revenue generation, it will be difficult for people to comply.
“With this Land Use Charge, it seems Lagos State Government is not appropriately considering the financial standing of its citizens.”
He advised the state government to urgently suspend the repeal law by considering the hammer it will bring on the people and also the damage it may cause to the image of the state government.
He equally urged the state government to bridge the gap between it and the citizen in order to ensure smooth developmental interaction.
“This development means that Government is far from the people, government is swimming in opulence, large resources, open wealth which is not getting to the people, there must be a synergy between the people and the government.”