The Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) has thrown its weight behind the Lagos State Government’s Land Use Charge, saying it will ensure social re-distribution of growth and social equity to all.
There has been public outcry in some quarters as well as many expressing fears that the new embedded land charge would bring more hardship to the populace.
Ambode had, last Tuesday, said he was not oblivious of the hue and cry generated by the revised Land Use Charge Law, saying his administration was ready to dialogue to resolve the issue.
According to the governor, review of the law was not a deliberate attempt by the government to overburden property owners, but a decision taken in the over-riding interest of the future of the state.
Executive Director of CPA, Olufemi Lawson, in a statement, condemned the ultimatum given by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, for the state government to shelve the implementation of the new law.
‘’We unequivocally condemn the plan of Ikeja NBA to cause public riot in the state if the law is not reversed. Need we remind the NBA, Ikeja branch, that other well-meaning Lagos civil society organisations, like ours, are at liberty to rally our members to equally protest the attempt of the Bar to instigate chaos in our state.
‘’We recall that the NBA, under the late Alao Aka-Bahorun and Olisa Agbakoba, played progressive roles, while lawyers like the late Kanmi Ishola-Osobu and Chief Gani Fawehinmi always tilt towards the majority poor and not a minority few privileged cabals.’’
The CPA said proceeds accruing from the new charges are statutorily bound to be shared between the state government and the 57 councils and local development areas as well as help to finance the infrastructure deficit of the fast-growing mega-city.
‘’Since over 15 years that the law was first enacted, despite astronomical inflationary index, the minimum charge in 2001 was N1,200 and in 2018, it is N5,000.”