The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, has vowed to protest the upward review of land use charge in Lagos state.
The government recently increased the land use charge, with property owners having to pay over 200 percent more than they paid in 2017.
Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday in Ikeja, Adesina Ogunlana, chairman of the branch, said the increase will turn Lagos to a toxic environment and a living hell.
Ogunlana accused the state government of “turning Lagos to a city for the few rich” at the expense of other Lagosians.
He said the government placed the cart before the horse when its legislation came before consultation.
“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,” Ogunlana said.
“To the shock of Lagosians, they woke up a few days ago to learn about the hyper-inflated rate of the so-called land-use charge which the governor of Lagos has escalated upwards 400%.
“Another notable tax increase is in the car registration fee, another wacky 300% or so.
“We learnt that the governor at a recent meeting with some stakeholders justified the increment of the land use charge on the ground that rules have remained static since 2002.
“The governors before him did not do it. But he wants to cram everything together.”
Ogunlana cited an example of a colleague of his who used to pay N140,000 as land use charge but after the new law, was billed N2m.
He quoted Ambode to have said “Lagosians accordingly should be prepared to pay “today’s rates”.
The association gave the government a 5-day ultimatum to reverse the law.
“If this regime of tax is allowed to stay, Lagos state would be turned into a toxic environment, a living hell,” he said.
“Life will become not only too expensive but volatile and dangerous. Must Lagos become a so-called paradise at the expense of the lives and limbs of Lagosians? Ambode should not let people regret voting for him the first time and go on to reject him for a second term.
“We use this opportunity to demand a scrapping of the move by the Lagos state government, by its new tax regime to turn the state into a hell.
“I thereby announce that if by Monday the 12th of March, 2018, the Lagos state dues suspend or jettison the new land charge rates, car registration fees, litigation fees, NBA Ikeja branch shall conduct a WALK THE TALK protest in Lagos state as a phase 2 of the struggle against the economic genocide the state government is waging against Lagosians.”