MAN, Dangote urge reduction
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has said that the state will not rescind its decision on planned increment in the Land Use Charge for the state to raise its internally-generated revenue and also bridge its wide infrastructure gap.
Ambode, who spoke yesterday at Lagos Means Business, a parley between the governor and the organised private sector, stated that his administration is willing to dialogue.
He stated that while he shares the concerns of the business community and the people on the hike in the Land Use Charge, the state needs to increase its revenue to meet its obligations to the people.
However, President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, told the governor to reduce the rate to be charged through the Land Use Charge for more people to comply with the payment.
Also, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to the governor to reverse the current increment of Land Use Charge to ensure the survival of the manufacturing sector.
MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, made the plea yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Jacobs, who stated that the sudden rise in the Land Use charges in the state could lead to the collapse of the already burdened manufacturing sector, said the increase, if not reversed, would also make the cost of the finished commodities to be too exorbitant for Lagosians to afford.
The governor, who stated that the culture of not wanting to pay taxes would not help in meeting the state infrastructure deficit, disclosed that the state requires about $50 billion to bridge its infrastructure gap.
He said when the residents do not pay taxes, it compels the government to look for alternatives to finance its capital projects, which are expensive.
Ambode, who also spoke on the trucks parked on roads and bridges leading to Apapa ports, said the state government is planning to relocate them to a truck park and land space in Orile-Iganmu to serve as a stop-over point before going to Apapa.
This, according to him, is part of measures to decongest the roads and make the city safe.
Besides, he stated that the state needs to rethink its means of moving as majority move on land, which is putting undue pressure on the roads, adding that 7.5 million people move from the Mainland to the Island daily, yet only 500,000 people live on the Island.
He also said that efforts are going on in creating a new industrial park in Imota and also to partner with investors that are ready to create businesses with social impact through giving incentives to such investors.