Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
Land Use Charge: We’re ready for dialogue — Ambode

By News Express on 07/03/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 627


Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday said his administration is not oblivious of the hue and cry generated by the revised Land Use Charge Law, saying that the government is ready to dialogue to resolve the issues going forward.

Ambode, who spoke during a well attended forum with the Organised Private Sector tagged “Lagos Means Business”, said the review of the law was not a deliberate attempt by the government to overburden property owners but a decision taken in the overriding interest of the future of Lagos.

The forum had in attendance major players in the business circle including former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke; founder, First City Monument Bank Group, Otunba Subomi Balogun; Chairman, Premier Lotto Limited, Chief Kessington Adebutu; Chairman, Eleganza Group of Companies, Alhaji Rasak Okoya; Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia; founder United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu; Chairman Honeywell Group, Dr. Oba Otudeko; former Minister of Industry, Chief Nike Akande, Chairman, Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh, members of the diplomatic corps, top business owners, among others.

He said the Law, enacted in 2001 provides for an upward review every five years, but that the State Government had not carried out any review of the Law up until 2017, adding that the recent review was in line with the present economic realities.

He said: “The law was made in 2001. It provides that every five years, we should review it and also find a way to increase. 15 years after in 2017, the law has never been reviewed. Now, the question is this; those who are having commercial properties, the rental income they were getting in 2002 as against the rental income they are getting in 2017, is it the same? The level of infrastructure that existed in 2002 as against what has happened in the last 15 years, are they the same? Did it not come at a cost? So, why is the market value of the property that you built with one million naira, 15 years after, you are selling at N20 million. Why do you think somebody who is a buyer will pay N20 million for it? Is it not because of the facilities around the property? So, we have to sacrifice; that is how it works everywhere.

“So, somebody comes and say we have increased by 400 per cent. The question is the 400 per cent of what? You were paying N10,000 before, now we say you should pay N50,000 and you are calculating and turning statistics upside down by saying it is 400 per cent.

Explaining further, the Governor said that while the revised Land Use Charge law requires owner-occupiers to pay just 0.076 per cent, pensioners, churches, mosques, non-governmental organisations and government institutions are exempted from payment.

“So, who is the one that will take care of the ones that are free? If you are owner-occupier you don’t need to pay. So, it’s the commercial part that people are complaining about.

“Why have we increased the rate? We should have been doing this every five years but I am looking at it if I must sustain the level of my vision, I have to give something back to people. I don’t have to come and meet you if I continue to borrow money, but we are borrowing to punish you ultimately which is not what we want because it is even the taxes you pay that would pay the interest and the principal. Somebody needs to tell us the bitter truth for us to sacrifice together and that is what we have done,” Ambode said.

Reeling out statistics to explain the challenges that would confront the State in the nearest future, the Governor said Lagos is projected to become the third largest consumer market in the world with a population of 35.8 million, closely behind Tokyo and Delhi, while the population growth and rapid urbanisation would put infrastructure and public services under pressure.

He said the state requires a minimum of $50 billion over the next five years to bridge the gap of infrastructural deficit, adding however, that a special infrastructure fund that would be driven by the private sector to address social challenges is the way to go. 

“Assuming the entire budget for 2018 is spent only on infrastructure development, Lagos will be left with a deficit of about N14.47 trillion and also require an additional 19 years of similar expenditure to bridge the infrastructure deficit,” Ambode said.

The Governor also expressed concerns that out of the eight million taxable adults in the state, only about two million submitted their tax returns while only 700,000 actually paid their taxes last year.

“We are 24 million; taxable adults in Lagos is 8 million. The number of people that actually submitted tax returns in 2017 is 2 million and then only 700,000 people paid their taxes,” he said.

He said the current tax returns were not enough to cater for the capital projects ongoing across the state, adding that major cities across the world with thriving economies are sustained by the taxes paid by residents.

Thanking the business community for their support over the years, Ambode said his administration was committed to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, adding that concerted efforts have been made to encourage investors to set up their businesses in the state, which according to him would have multiplying effects on the state’s economy.

“I invite you to come and own the economy. Whatever you say here would be taken seriously because this gathering is not just about knowledge sharing; it’s more about the future of Nigeria and not just Lagos,” the Governor said.

In his brief remarks, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, commended the Governor for deeming it fit to organise a forum to meet the business community in Lagos, adding that his (Governor) passion to make Lagos thrive was not in doubt.

He also said the economic drive by the State Government was one that required all and sundry to rally round the government and perform their civic responsibility of paying their taxes as and at when due.

“I am more convinced now and I think people should really be voluntarily paying taxes in Lagos. I think for people who are doing business here, Lagos is the most-friendliest States in Nigeria. If you really want to know, try other states and you will see hell.

“I am not advertising for Lagos but there is not a single time you go with a problem and the Governor will ask you to go and come back tomorrow because in most cases, he will call everybody and say let us sit down and sort out the issues. So, your Excellency, we congratulate you and assure that we will continue to support you,” Dangote said.

Also speaking, Ovia and Elumelu lauded the Governor for the massive infrastructural renewal projects across the State especially in the area of security.

Ovia, said that business owners now feel safe to invest in the state owing to the investment in security, just as he commended the Governor for sustaining the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), a public private partnership designed to enhance security in the State.

“Your Excellency, you have spoken today like a Chairman/CEO of a company to his shareholders. We are definitely one of your shareholders and we would renew your mandate in 2019 there’s no doubt,” Ovia said. 

The duo promised to increase their donation to the fund, while also calling on others to contribute their quota to the enhancement of the state’s security architecture.

•Sourced from lagosstate.gov.ng.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: •Photo shows, R-L; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule; Chairman, Zenith Bank, Mr. Jim Ovia and Founder, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble Nig. Limited, Mrs, Adenike Ogunlesi during the “Lagos Means Business” (a parley with the Governor), at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.

Source News Express

Posted 07/03/2018 05:14:51 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
I did not say Amaechi is corrupt and...

4.2m Nigerians benefit from UNFPA’s humanitarian services

Voice of Nigeria inducted into FOI ‘Hall of...

I nearly ran away from office —Buhari

Ugwuanyi moves to complete Enugu International Conference Centre...

Naira depreciates further at parallel market

Finance Ministry moves to recover N450bn from MDAs...

Thugs attack Alao-Akala’s guber campaign office in Ibadan...

NECO releases 2017 Nov/Dec SSCE results •Ogun, Akwa...

Senate to summon Ngige over high unemployment rate...

Obaseki bans grazing in selected Edo communities, environs...

FG to blacklist, prosecute 7 firms importing substandard...

 

Latest News Osun governorship election: All the results while waiting for INEC's official declaration 2019: Screening Panel to decide fate of Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal, others Certificate Saga: Uncertainty, fears grip Buhari’s ministers, aides Ambode’s fate hangs in the balance as party insists on primary Osun Guber: PDP beats Aregbesola in Ijeshaland Missing General: Army recovers bus door Ban of Ohanaeze causes stir APC, PDP devise new method on vote-buying Activities pick up in Delta State IDP Camp; Asaba Camp records first birth Nigeria Air fiasco: Foreign investors, international community won’t take Nigeria serious again — Peter Obi Lagos sues for peace over hijab controversy Gombe, Taraba, no-go-areas for APC, others — Darius Ishaku warns

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (396,123 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (376,610 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (308,289 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (250,497 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (232,171 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (221,590 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (199,955 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (181,556 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (165,627 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (163,331 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (158,089 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (146,852 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (63) Business & Economy (3,622) Business Verdict (52) Columnists (933) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (547) Features (652) Global Business Monitor (301) International (2,426) Interview (165) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (144) News (39,070) Opinion (1,110) Pidgin (11) Politics (6,705) Religion (872) Sports (1,701) Stock Watch (34) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

I am Imo State's New Governor -- Okorocha's son-in-law Uche Nwosu...

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement