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JUST IN: Lagos Govt. returns to pre-2018 land use charge, waives penalties 

By Ibe Wada,

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that the state would be returning to its pre-2018 land use charge as well as waived penalties for charges from 2017, 2018, and 2019 for defaulters across the state.

It explained that that readopting the pre-2018 land use charge had become imperative after reversing the 2018 land use charge in line with the government’s commitment to mitigate the financial burden and hearken to the yearning of citizens as it relates to land use charge.

The State’s Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, said that the state would be reverting to pre-2018 land use charge and would uphold the year’s method of valuation for properties across the state.

Speaking during a press briefing on Wednesday, Olowo also revealed that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration waived penalties for 2017, 2018, and 2019, which amounts to N5.6 billion loss in potential revenue for the state.

“We considered the land use charge reform very necessary to accommodate the agitations of Lagosians and reduce the financial pressure on citizens as it relates to land use. As you are aware in 2018, there was an increase in land use charge rate as well as the method of valuation of properties. This twin shock had sporadic increase in land use charge payable by property owners.

“In view of the aforementioned, the current administration decided to review the land use charge law by reversing the rate of land use charge to pre-2018 while upholding the 2018 method of valuation,” he said.

Furthermore, Olowo said the new Land Use Charge Law 2020 was part of the reforms from the ministry to correct the hike introduced by last administration and that new law reduces penalties for defaulters between 25 to 100 percent to 10 to 50 percent; and also a 48 percent reduction in the annual charge rates for different properties.

“Still on reductions, another major sector that had its charge reduced is the agricultural sector, which annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.

“The government further re-introduced the 15 percent early payment discount which has been increased by a 10 percent special COVID-19 incentive making it 25 percent when payment is paid before the due date,” he said.

Unlike in the 2018 law, pensioners now include retirees from private and public institutions in the state (or any person that has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration) and their properties are exempted from paying land use charge.

“We have completed the LUC Reform process and review of bills. Property owners should expect to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and we expect property owners to leverage on the 25% early payment discount,” he added.

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