Some operators in the building construction industry have joined in showing dissatisfaction with the level of reduction in the Land Use Charge (LUC) announced by the Lagos State Government.
They spoke with The Tide source in Lagos, Saturday
The state government, following public outcry on its hike in the charge had last Thursday announced various reliefs, with some reduction.
But several groups have continued to express dissatisfaction, adducing various reasons for their positions.
Vice President of the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mr Olayemi Shonubi said last Saturday that the government had not justified the review, which affected only few sections.
According to him, the reduction will make no economic impact if a wholesome amendment is not made to other sections of the law on the charge.
He said this was necessary, considering the requests of the stakeholders, landlords and professionals in the sector.
“Let the entire LUC law be taken back to the House of Assembly for complete overhaul, review and amendment, such that the rate of reduction, penalities removal, installmental payment and conditions may be enacted into the law.
“It is only when the law is wholesomely reviewed to meet with value of the property over time, that it will be of economic importance to the residents of the state.
“Otherwise, the masses will just be living at the mercy of the government because successive governments may come up with different policies in respect to the law at will,” Shonubi said.
Mr Samuel Effiong, former chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Lagos State Chapter, said that the review of a law as important as the LUC should not be done with a fire brigade approach.
Effiong said that the state government reviewed the charges in haste and as such did not carry out proper analysis, study and consultations.
According to him, the needed fundamental adjustments to the law have not been made.
He said that evaluation of property taxes were not based on capital value, but on income value of the property.
“The government needs not to be in hurry in amending this law.
“They should do the necssary consultations, sit down with the estate surveyors and valuers to properly study/assess the law and work out the modalities for applying it,” Effiong said.
Mr Makinde Ogunleye, former Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), said it would further jeopardise the economic system for the state government to pursue an increment at a time the country just came out of recession.
Ogunleye said it was not the right time for any form of taxation increment.
He said that if the government wants to raise more revenue, it could do so by looking at other areas.
According to him, considering the economic situation in Nigeria today, the government must have sympathy and empathy for the people.
He noted that imposition or addition of any payment of money on citizens now could be exposing them to avoidable pains.
“The state government has so many other ways of generating revenue. Lagos State has a lot of industries.
“Let the state government target the rich and not the poor because increment in LUC will affect everyone; the poor, the average income earner and the rich as well.
“Let them target the extremely rich, the high-end industries, commercial ventures, and not those who are struggling to survive,” Ogunleye said.
The Lagos Government had recently repealed its 2001 Land Use Charge Law and replaced it with a new Land Use Charge Law, 2018, which was signed on Feb. 8.
Redeployed Customs Officers Assume Office At New Posts
Redeployed Zonal coordinators and controllers affected by the recent swapping exercise in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have since taken over their new posts.
Assistant Comptroller General and Comptrollers affected by the change of batons have gone into action in the respective Zones and Area Commands respectively.
As at Press time, ACG Bello Jibo, the new Coordinator, Zone A, has begun to hold forth at the Harvey Road Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, Jaiyeoba, and Shuaibu have resumed their duties as Customs Area Controllers of Tincan Island Port, Apapa and Idiroko Commands respectively.
Comptroller Timi Bomodi has also begun overseeing customs activities at Seme-Krake Border Command.
In an exclusive chat with The Tide, Chairman, Seme Chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agent (ANLCA), Chief Oyekachukwu Ojinma (aka Sule) described the outgoing Controller of the Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, as a very hard-working and dedicated man, while welcoming the new Customs Area Controller to the border post.
The ANLCA Chairman expressed his wish for a successful tenure of office for Compt. Timi Bomodi.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
‘Electricity Act Will Transform Power Sector’
Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has stated that the recently signed Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023, will play a fundamental role in transforming the power sector.
According to him, it will unlock the potential of the energy mix and promote the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid system.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Conference and exhibition in Lagos, Adelabu said the Act aims to create an environment that supports sustainable growth and investment in the power industry by focusing on accelerated private investment and the promotion of renewable energy sources.
“As a game-changer that reformed the NESI, the Electricity Act will, undoubtedly, engender increased access to electricity and regulatory oversight, clean energy transition, improved service delivery, and infrastructural developments.
“In particular, the act will stimulate economic growth by creating a conducive environment for investment and competition. It will generate job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract foreign direct investments”, he said.
The Minister called on operators in the power sector to intensify their efforts towards improving communication with the general public, emphasising that the Nigerian masses have a lot of roles to play in safeguarding power infrastructure.
He said issues such as vandalism, passing of meters, and damage to TCN and DisCo infrastructure must be addressed holistically to make significant gains in the power sector.
Adelabu emphasised that the power sector is a cornerstone for economic growth in the country and that the gains made over the years in the power sector can only be consolidated by unlocking equity investments and funds for power development.
He said: “Of course, a lot of investment is required in the power sector. In three weeks, I’ve seen humongous investments that have come into this sector.
“But what are the steps that are required for those investment opportunities to reap the benefit of those investments, additional investments in the form of equity and capex need to come into this industry.
“The power sector is not an industry for short-term players to invest in less than two to three years and expect to make maximum benefits.
“The industry requires medium to long-term investments. Investors must understand that the moment we can break even, we will start making profits in the power sector.
Adelabu also urged operators in the NESI value chain to improve their service delivery, adding that Nigeria’s energy expansion plan of 60,000 Megawatts by 2060 is an achievable target.
He, therefore, called on gas companies, GenCos, TCN, and DIScO to showcase their success stories in generating and transmitting power to the last mile that pays for all the segments of operators in the value chain.
‘Nigeria Loses $1.5bn Annually To Malnutrition’
Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, has said Nigeria loses $1.5 billion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to micronutrient deficiencies.
Bagudu therefore called for coordinated efforts to ensure a swift response with expected positive outcomes.
A statement released by the Ministry said the Minister disclosed this, last Tuesday, while speaking at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in Abuja.
In the statement, Bagudu noted that the government was determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan, and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
“It is also a commitment to achieving optimal nutrition status for all Nigerians with particular attention to the vulnerable group as highlighted in the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition”, he said.
Bagudu, who urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and develop innovations that will boost nutrition, explained that doing this “would contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring Universal Health Coverage, and bringing about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria”.
He told members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria “to prioritise innovation and research in the field of nutrition towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage and transformation of the landscape of nutrition in Nigeria.
“Nigeria currently requires nutrition professionals who have extensive knowledge, good communication skills to address nutrition education, emotional intelligence as well and a good understanding of self-motivation and drive to address nutrition dynamics”.
The Minister urged the NSN to embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to find sustainable and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s nutrition challenges.
He assured members of the NSN that his ministry would strengthen coordination and provide the required leadership for the nutrition sector.
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, in his goodwill message, said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) had identified areas of key commitments for the realisation of a healthier citizen and country, including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
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