Two persons who were described by Lagos state goverment media (lagosstate.gov.ng) as commissioners in the state cabinet have told Lagosians that the new land use charges are nowhere near being outrageous. What is being described as outrageous, according to them, is the commulative arears of many years which the new law prescribes that land and house owners must pay.
The persons, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan (Information) and Mr Akinyemi Ashade (Finance) blamed the social media for confusing annual charges with several years of unpaid but now payable arears.
Lagosstate.gov.ng quotes Bamigbetan as saying “The second important part is that a lot of reliefs have been built into the law but many people are confusing arrears with the actual figure. If you see those figures, ask whether it is for one year or arrears of several years of non-payment. The humongous figures that are being bandied around particularly in the social media relate to the arrears of many years of non-payment which are computed together”.
His colleague, Akinyemi Ashade, clarified further that the new Land Use law is a consolidation of Ground Rent, Tenement Rate, and Neighbourhood Improvement Levy. He therefore does not see the prescribed charges as outrageous as it actualy replaces three distinct charges.
He said the minimum rate was only increased from N1,200 to N5,000 (about 400%).
Championing opposition to the new charges are senior citizens, residents of highbrow estates, as well as business and professional associations.
Many argue that what adds to Nigeria’s problems is a preponderance of many poor young men who never earned a hundred thousand naira per month in their life but who, after being appointed commissioners, special advisers or such other hangers-on positions by politicians talk unguarded nonsense in the name of saying they have a job to do.
According to a Punch report, the Lagos Bar Association in particular says it would embark on a mass protest tagged “Hell Tax Must Go,” against the “Pharaoic tax regime”