By Abdulwahab Abdulah with Agency Report
Ikeja – The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, has rejected the 50 per cent reduction of the Land Use Charge recently reviewed by the Lagos State Government.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Adesina Ogunlana who led a protest against the increase in the Land Use Charge, LUC in Lagos three days ago said on Thursday said that the government is not sincere about the downward review of the charge and that the reduction by the Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode led-administration is “unacceptable”.
In a telephone interview, Ogunlana, who claimed is unaware of the review, said, my reaction is that the government is not sincere about the review.
” The upward review is something that came with by law and cannot be reviewed downward like that. Until the law is reviewed, we are not going to accept it. The reduction is arbitrary and illegal.”
Claiming that it was not something that goes down well with the masses, Ogunlana noted, the 50 percent “reduction was not in line with our demands and the demands of the average Lagosians. We need a total reduction of the rates. Everybody knew how difficult it is to get money under the present harsh economy. So, the government should consider total reduction.”
“I am yet to hear officially from the government about that reduction or see a document about it, I have only seen news flash which I will treat only as a rumour.
“The rumoured reduction is not acceptable, I don’t trust this government; this is democracy and if there is going to be a reduction you have to consult with the people.
“The reduction is arbitrary and lacks legal basis. Due process must be followed, the law must be repealed and amended.
“You cannot repeal a law by proclamation, we are not in the military era where laws are made by decrees and proclamation,” he said.
On the association’s next line of action, Ogunlana said: “The NBA Ikeja branch will hold a press briefing to address this issue.”
The LASG had increased the Land Use Charge by 400 per cent, motor rate taxes by 1, 600 per cent, court Fees by 2,000 per cent and bore hole taxes by 68,000 per cent.
Following the raise, the NBA Ikeja Branch had on March 13 in a solidarity with various human rights groups staged a peaceful protest from its Secretariat at Ikeja to the seat of power — the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa.
The protesters had at the State Secretariat presented a letter from the NBA to Gov. Ambode, who was represented by Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
The letter dated March 12 was entitled, “Call For A Re-think and Review of The Land Use Charge Tax, All Other Excessive Taxes, Levies and Charges in Lagos State”.
In reaction to the protest of the lawyers and activists, the Lagos State Government on Thursday announced a 50 percent reduction of the Land Use Charge.
The reduction was part of the conclusions reached at the weekly meeting of the State Executive Council chaired by Ambode. (NAN)