By Naomi Uzor
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has criticised the new Land Use Charge (LUC) Act as a conspiracy against investments, the growth of the manufacturing sector and the people of Lagos State.
President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, in a statement, said the LUC is unacceptable to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, it is not acceptable to the Organised Private Sector and it is unacceptable to the general public.
He said, “In fact, the new LUC Act is an unfriendly gesture that will further worsen the performance of the manufacturing sector.
“Imagine, the huge negative impact that the arbitrary upward valuation of property backed with an increase in LUC of between 200 and 1000 per cent would have on rent, real estate investments, the running costs of businesses, overhead cost of manufacturing concerns, general prices of goods and services, employment and the welfare of the populace. This is not only outrageous but a big slap on the effort of the Federal Government on the Ease of Doing Business.
“You would recall that in 2001/2002 when the LUC Act was first introduced during the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we engaged the government constructively. When the engagement process ended in a deadlock, MAN went to the law court to challenge the law and we advised our members not to pay LUC until the outcome of the suit.
“We later had an out-of-court settlement that led to our signing an agreement (renewable every 7 years) with the Lagos State Government and reduction of LUC payable by manufacturing concerns to the acceptable barest minimum” he added.
According to him, in view of MAN’s style of advocacy which strongly rely on the principles of mutual understanding, dialogue, evidence based and constructive engagement, and has commenced meaningful engagements with relevant agencies of government, made useful submissions and should be meeting with the State Governor very soon.
Jacobs further stated: “ During the proposed meeting, our Association will acquaint the Governor with the current state of manufacturing in Lagos State, present our findings with evidences from our members, share our concerns with the Governor, make few demands (which will be made public after the engagement) and offer recommendations on the way forward. Hopefully, our advocacy engagement with the current Governor will not end in a deadlock” he said.