Land Use Charge: Real Estate Professionals Call for Review

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Enterprise Television- Land Use Charge: Real Estate Professionals Call for Review

Following criticisms over the introduction of the Land Use Charge Law, 2018 by the Lagos State Government, professionals in the real estate industry have called for a review of the entire legislation.

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos Branch, suggested that the LUC 2018 should be anchored on the basic principles of taxation, as this would ensure fairness, particularly from the taxpayers’ point of view.

The Chairman, Nigerian Institude of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Lagos branch, Mr. Rogba Orimalade, stated that the institution, out of concern for the citizens, had studied the law, the methods, basis applied and the likely impact, and was worried that property values had been adjusted upwards without valuation.

He stated, “We will appeal to the government to conclude the valuation exercise before adjusting assessment figures based on valuation. For the sake of transparency and best practices, when the valuation is concluded, a list should be produced and displayed in each local government area for all stakeholders to see.

Rogba said that estate surveyors, as custodians of physical assets and managers of properties and facilities in the state, had articulated key suggestions and grey areas with contradictory provisions in the law, which it would be recommending to the government when they meet.

The Land Use Charge is a consolidation of the ground rent, tenement rate and neighbourhood improvement levy by the Land Use Charge Law of 2018, which was first enacted in 2001, and payable on properties in the state.

Since the bill was signed into law on February 8, 2018 by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and launched on the 19th, it has received varied opinions and criticisms from property owners and other stakeholders in the state.

Residents of the Lekki peninsula had last week threatened to go to the Lagos State Land Use Appeal Tribunal over the new demand notices served on them under the re-enacted LUC.

The Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association, a coalition of all residents associations along the Lekki-Epe Axis from 1004 Estates to Epe, met and resolved that the members would not pay the new charges, which they said were four times higher than what they paid in 2017.

The Chairman, VGC Property Owners and Residents Association, Mr. Olusegun Ladega, said residents find the new charges extremely exorbitant and out of tune with their economic realities