**Don’t Turn Lagos to Living Hell
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode may have bitten more than he can chew with the new land use charge law he assented to last month.
This is because the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has given the state government seven days to reverse the law of face mass protest from them.
Addressing journalists at a news conference yesterday in Lagos, the lawyers described the hike in the land use charge as “Pharaoic.”
“Few weeks ago, Lagosians woke up to learn about the hyper-inflated rate of the so called ‘Land Use Charge’ which the Governor of Lagos has escalated upwards 400 percent.
“Recently, one of our colleagues who regularly pay the sum of under N140,000 as LUC for office building received a notice of the LUC demand, he is now to pay the amount of N2 million.
“If these tax rates are allowed, Lagos state would be turned into a ‘toxic environment and a living hell’ for Lagosians,” Chairman of the Ikeja NBA Branch, Mr Adesina Ogunlana, told newsmen yesterday.
According to him, the increase in LUC will have an adverse effect on all other services as owners of properties and services will automatically transfer other financial burdens to their customers.
“My view is that the government of Lagos State has lost sync with the difficult and harsh realities of life of the people of Lagos and has taken their support and goodwill for his government for granted.”
“Life will become not only too expensive but volatile and dangerous.
“The government cannot hide under ‘developing Lagos into a Mega Smart City’ to kill Lagosians with Pharaoic Taxes,” Mr Ogunlana said.
Also, the legal practitioner said the Governor must reverse the hike in the cost of car registration and filing of litigation.
“Another notable tax increase is in the car registration fee, another wacky 300 percent or so.
“In judiciary, filing cost of litigation has jumped astronomically, pushing genuine but financially weak grievances away from employing and enjoying access to legal and judicial justice,” he lamented.
He said if after seven days, Mr Ambode fails to reverse the law, his group will start a protest tagged ‘Hell Tax Must Go’ from the Branch Secretariat in Ikeja down to the Lagos State Secretariat in Alausa.
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