The public hearing on land use charge amendment in Lagos state which held on Tuesday was greeted with mixed reactions by stakeholders in the public and private sector.
With agitations by different interest groups, the Lagos state house of assembly had proposed a hearing after amendments to the land use charge law 2018 were made.
Ogunlana Adesina, chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), had requested that the hearing be postponed.
According to him, copies of the law and the proposed amendments had not been made widely available to the public prior to the hearing.
“We can’t make any meaningful inputs into a law that that has not been made available to us. What is worth doing at all is worth doing well,” he said.
But over-ruling Adesina’s request, Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of the house of assembly, said the issues to be addressed were not new, having been in the public domain for several weeks.
He said of the 37 sections of the land use charge law, only eight were actually billed for amendment and therefore did not need amendment or postponement.
Following Obasa’s ruling, Adeshina and members of the NBA who were present walked out on the speaker.
The speaker requested for additional memoranda from members of the public, adding that they should submit them to the house committee for consideration over the next two-week period.
Other groups from the private sector including Estate Agent’s Association and resident’s associations remained, making the hearing the highest in the history of the national assembly.
Also speaking at the proceeding, Akinyemi Ashade, Lagos commissioner of finance, announced that “the executive had proposed a general relief rate of 50%, up from the 40% of old.”
“Other reliefs included the charge rate for commercial properties which had been reduced to 0.45% (from 0.76%) while industrial charge rate had also been reduced to 0.230%,” he said.