Investigations have shown that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode  of Lagos State was not exactly truthful when he said that the state Land Use Charge Law has not been reviewed in the last 15 years.

Ambode had, in a bid to justify the increase in land use charge, said the law had not been reviewed since 2001.

The Lagos state governor who spoke during a well attended forum with the Organised Private Sector tagged “Lagos Means Business” on March 6, stated that the Law, enacted in 2001 provides for an upward review every five years, but the government had not carried out any review of the Law up until 2017.

He said: “The law was made in 2001. It provides that every five years, we should review it and also find a way to increase. Fifteen years after in 2017, the law has never been reviewed.”

The Lagos state governor also said the rates were determined by the present value of properties which has “appreciated since the last review in 2001”.

“Now, the question is this: those who are having commercial properties, the rental income they were getting in 2002 as against the rental income they are getting in 2017, is it the same?” he asked.

“So, somebody comes and say we have increased by 400 per cent. The question is the 400 per cent of what? You were paying N10, 000 before, now we say you should pay N50, 000 and you are calculating and turning statistics upside down by saying it is 400 per cent.

However, checks by Bounce News have revealed that the law had been reviewed thrice by Ambode’s predecessors in office.

After the original bill was signed into law in 2001, it was reviewed by the administrations of Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola.

While Tinubu reviewed it in 2003, Fashola did so in 2008 and 2012.

Tinubu had in 2003, set up a special committee chaired by a former Federal Commissioner for Works, Lateef Okunnu to review the law.

In 2012, the administration of Fashola also reviewed the charge to reflect an increase in all categories except pensioners, family compounds and religious properties.

As of the last review in 2012, commercial properties reportedly attracted a rate of 0.394%; a property solely occupied by the owner for residential purpose was charged at a rate of 0.0394%; while a similar property occupied by the property owner and tenant(s) or third parties will be charged at a rate of 0.132%.

An investment property fully occupied by tenants or third party (ies) for revenue generation, was charged at a rate of 0.394%.”

In the new law signed by Ambode, chargeable property include industrial premises of manufacturing concerns at the rate of 0.256 per cent per annum of the assessed property value, residential property (owner and third party) at the rate of 0.256 per cent per annum of the assessed property value,  residential property (without owner in residence) at the rate of 0.76 per cent per annum of the assessed property value.

Commercial property (used by occupier for business purposes) are charged at the rate of 0.76 per cent per annum of the assessed property value and vacant property and open empty land at the rate of 0.76 per cent per annum of the assessed property value.

The governor was therefore wrong to have said that the land use charge had never been reviewed since inception. Records prove otherwise.

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