Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday expressed optimism that the ongoing dialogue with various stakeholders on the new Land Use Charge Law would bring about a positive outcome in the overall interest of the people going forward.
He said the State Government would come out with a positive position to ameliorate the issues raised by stakeholders on the new Land Use Charge Law in the next one week, saying the increment was all in a bid to protect the future and create permanent prosperity for the State.
Governor Ambode, who was cornered by journalists after leading a symbolic walk against sexual and domestic violence in Alausa, said his administration was very sensitive and responsive to the yearnings of the people, and had met with various stakeholders in the last one week to explain the rationale behind the new law.
He said: “Just the way that you would have observed, we held a session with the business community last week on Lagos Means Business and one of the topical issues that were raised was about the Land Use Charge and during that session, I did say that the State Government was opened to dialogue. Ever since that Tuesday, we have been consulting people and we have also been trying to explain the basis of this Land Use Charge Law.”
The Governor said out of the 300 tax items in the State, only the Land Use Charge and one other law was reviewed upward, and that the development was targeted at fast-tracking development and protecting the future of the State.
“I want Lagosians to understand one particular issue. We have over 300 tax items for which nothing has been touched apart from this Land Use Charge and maybe one other. But again, 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.
“Yes, people might like that infrastructural development is on the progressive chart in Lagos but also it comes with a price. But notwithstanding in the middle of all that, a responsive government will listen to the yearnings of her people.
“So, obviously when I say I want dialogue, I really mean it and I am ready to respond to that. In the last one week, we have been meeting different groups; we have been talking and we have been making people to understand also and I think by the end of this week, we should be able to come out with something positive that actually ameliorate the issues being raised by concerned stakeholders,” he said.
He said the ultimate goal of his administration was to create a framework to put the State on a sound pedestal for economic growth and prosperity, and as well secure the future of the State, but that something positive would be done to respond to the issues raised by the people.
“At the end of the day, it’s all for the development of Lagos. What this government is interested in is to create a trajectory and framework of permanent prosperity for Lagos. It is not about today, it is about the future and if there is going to be permanent prosperity in Lagos, some things have to be done but I can tell you based on the dialogue and the things we have been receiving, obviously we would respond positively to those yearnings,” Governor Ambode said.