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29 Dec 2017

New Development As Lagos State Govt Moves To Tax Churches And Mosques

A bill that would review land use charge in Lagos state has gone through second reading on the floor of the state House of Assembly during plenary on Thursday, December 28.

The law tagged:“A Bill for A Law To Repeal The Land Use Charge Law 2001 and Enact Land Use Charge 2017 and For Connected Purposes” was subsequently committed to the House Ad-hoc Committee on Finance headed by Yinka Ogundimu representing Agege II, New Telegraph reports. .

Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said the law was all about increasing the revenue generation of the state.

He said that the House would not exempt religious organisations in the law “because most of the worship centres are making money.

”We could only exempt Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).”

Obasa observed that a situation where a few consultants were working with the state governments on the collection of land use charge was not good enough, calling for increase in the number of consultants.

He said: “We need more consultants to do the job so that the entire state could be covered in the collection of land use charge. Whatever tribunal that would be set up to deal with offenders should have the support of the government.

“On the issue of exemptions, we cannot exempt religious organisations because most of the worship centres are making money. We could only exempt Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).”

The Majority leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade had informed the House that the Bill would be going through second reading.

Agunbiade stated that the bill would repeal the existing law on land use charge, adding that it was an Executive Bill. He stressed that the bill would prohibit application of other relevant laws relating to land use.

Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni supported the bill, saying that it would help increase the revenue of the state.

In supporting the proposed law, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu stated that it should give provision for certain approval by the state House of Assembly and called the attention of the House to the issue of enforcement of collection of the charges.

He frowned at a situation, where only about 300,000 houses were paying land use charges in a state with about two million houses.

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