By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LESS than 24 hours after the Lagos State Government announced a downward review of the new Land-use-charge, LUC, rates, Organised Private Sector, OPS, yesterday petitioned the State Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, rejecting the reduction, saying its requests in the formal submission to government had not been addressed.
OPS contended that it had demanded reduction in both or either of the Base Percentage Rate or (and) Assessed Market Value, insisting that the reduction announced by government fell short of expectations of the business community.
In the petition signed by Mr. Segun Oshinowo, OPS threatened that should government fail to address the concerns of business community, it would have no other option than to go to court as it was done in 2002.
The petition reads: “The Organized Private Sector (OPS) appreciates Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the announced reduction in the invoiced rate of the Land use-charge demand notices sent to businesses and residents. This is a demonstration of his avowed commitment to listen to alternative views.
“However, having analysed the announced concessions by Government, our position is that the reduction fell short of expectations of the business community. Government has not addressed the fundamental request in our formal submission to it, namely reduction in both or either of the Base Percentage Rate or (and) Assessed Market Value. These are crucial issues we had called on Government to address. A reduction of 50% over the invoiced rates is far off from the mark on the relief that will ameliorate the over 500% increase in the new rate.
“In the spirit of the long-standing partnership and on-going social-dialogue between the Lagos State Government and the Business Community, we therefore, request that you take a second look at these propositions. May I also inform you that we have the mandate of the business community to challenge this law in court, as we did in 2002, should the government continue to shun our request for a respectful constructive dialogue between it and the OPS, which is highly desirable for the resolution of this issue.”