By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Tough time seems to await prospective property owners as Lagos State Government said that henceforth, it would only attend to applications for housing transactions that are accompanied with evidence of tax payments by applicants.
The move, it was gathered, was part of tax net drive to boost the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the state, put at an average of N34 billion monthly as at April, 2019.
Also recall that Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had November 8, presented a proposed N1.168 Trillion, Year 2020 Budget to the State House of Assembly for consideration and subsequent approval.
The budget, Christined, “Awakening to a Greater Lagos” is higher than the previous year by 37 per cent.
The budget, when approved by the the lawmakers, Sanwo-Olu stressed would be funded by a projected: Total Revenue of N1.071 trillion and a deficit amounting to N97.53 billion.
The sectoral breakdown showed: Capital Expenditure to N723.75 billion, while the Recurrent Expenditure is N444.81 billion, giving a 62:38 capital to recurrent ratio.
On the new tax net drive, the Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mr Wasiu Akewusola made the remark, during a management staff meeting in Alausa, Ikeja, Friday.
According to Akewusola, “No tax defaulters would have the opportunity to embark on Housing transactions with the Ministry and its agencies.”
He affirmed that “unless applications are backed with evidence of payments of personal income tax, they will not be entertained.”
According to him, the documents that would accompany all applications made to the ministry must include: Photocopy of Lagos State Revenue receipt and bank deposit slip, Assessment notice from the Lagos Internal Revenue Service, LIRS, as well as Electronic Tax Clearance, e-TCC, Card or three months salaries pay slips with corporate Identification Card of the employees.
“Prospective applicants for either outright purchase or rent to own scheme are advised not to forward any application that does not include any of the aforementioned documents as such requests will not be accepted.
“Housing construction and provision of infrastructure in the state are financed by tax payers money and it is only right that beneficiaries of these projects must have contributed their own quota to the revenue of the state government,” Akewusola said.
He, however, reiterated commitment of the present administration to providing affordable and quality homes for the people, saying “the ultimate goal is to bring more Lagosians on the homeowners ladder.”
He, therefore, urged residents of the state to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the state government in prioritising the completion of all uncompleted housing projects in order to increase the stock of available homes in the state aimed at reducing the housing deficit.
He assured the general public that all applications completed with all required documents shall be promptly considered.