• Assures them of positive outcome
Amid the sustained public objection to the enforcement of the recently enacted Land Use Charge (LUC) Law, the Lagos State Government Monday said that it would ameliorate the concerns of stakeholders in the state, mainly business executives and captains of industries, this week.
Since the state government started issuing new LUC notices to residents in Lagos, there has been a massive outcry over the astronomical increment in the charge, especially among residents in highbrow areas of the state who are the worst hit.
The state government defended the new charge, saying it needed to raise its internally generated revenue (IGR) to close the infrastructure gap in Lagos, noting that it would require at least $50 billion in the next five years for this purpose, with the exclusion of the education, health and housing sectors.
It also embarked on an enlightenment campaign last week on how properties are assessed and the rates applied to the market value of properties after a general relief of 40 per cent of the value has been deducted.
The Executive Chairman of the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Ayo Subair, in an interview with THISDAY last week, also advised residents who had established that they had been wrongly assessed to appeal the charge at the Lagos State Ministry of Finance.
Speaking on the issue Monday during a session with journalists at the State House, Alausa, the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said that as a responsive government, he would respond to the yearnings of residents in the state.
Ambode said the state government has been consulting with people and explaining the reason for the new law since last week, noting that the government was open to dialogue on the issue.
“I am ready to respond to the demands of concerned stakeholders. At the end of this week, I think we should be able to come up with something positive that will ameliorate the issues raised by concerned stakeholders,” he added.
Ambode said the state government “will take decisions for the development of the state. What this government is interested in, is to create a framework that would serve as permanent prosperity for Lagos”.
He said the state government had dialogued with different stakeholders in the last fortnight, promising that he would obviously respond to the yearnings of the residents.
He acknowledged that the state has over 300 tax items.
“Of these tax items, we only reviewed the land use charge upwards. The development was targeted at fast-tracking development and protecting the future of the state.
“We are a very responsive government. We are very sensitive because, at the end of the day, governance is about the people. It is about what they want. Our infrastructure development is on the progressive chart across the state.
“But it comes with a price. But notwithstanding, in the middle of all these issues, a responsive government will listen to the yearnings of her people. When I say I want dialogue, I really mean it. I am ready to respond to that.
“In the last one week, we have been meeting different groups. We have been talking. We have been making people to understand. By the end of this week, I think we should be able to come out with something positive,” he explained.