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Real Estate and Construction

Lagos seals off 42 more buildings in Lekki over building collapse

The Commissioner explained that the special operation started in Lekki Phase 1 on Tuesday.

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Lagos announces resumption time table for public and private schools, FESTAC town, Lagos cancels 2018 land use charge, LAND USE CHARGE, Lekki sealed buildings, Lagos state governor issues new guidelines for lockdown, consider full reopening of its economy

The Lagos State Government has announced the sealing off of 42 additional buildings in Lekki for failure to get building permits and comply with the physical planning laws of the state. This is to reduce the incidences of building collapse.

This was disclosed by the spokesman of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Mukaila Sanusi, who was quoting the Commissioner, Dr. Idris Salako, on Friday June 26, 2020.

Salako said that the enforcement became necessary so as to stem the tide of building collapse and also protect the environment for adherence to proper planning.

READ MORE: LASG seals 19 more buildings in Banana Island over planning permit

According to Salako, “This explains why we must stop those who are bent on jeopardising the Operative Development Plans of Lagos State by not tolerating any form of illegal physical development.”

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Salako explained that the special operation started in Lekki Phase 1 on Tuesday, with the sealing off of 19 buildings, making a total of 42 buildings that were closed as of Thursday, June 25, 2020.

READ ALSO: Is Biola Alabi making Nollywood’s first Capital Market Movie?

He also urged those whose properties were affected due to the infractions to report to his office in Ikeja, while also advising property owners in Lekki Phase 1 and other parts of the state to ensure compliance with physical planning laws of the state.

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Nairametrics had reported about 2 weeks ago, that the Lagos state government, sealed off 34 properties in highbrow Banana Island in a 2-day exercise for violating planning laws of the state in terms of structure and location of the properties, in addition to failure to obtain the required building permits.

The Lagos state government is applying stricter controls and regulations for property developers due to increasing cases of collapsed buildings which have claimed many lives in the state.

READ ALSO: Despite COVID-19, Lagos State Government says Q1 budget performance rose to N163.2 billion

Dr. Salako, pointed out that the state government was ready to take on individuals and property developers who violated those planning laws to the detriment of the wellness and wellbeing of the society through disorderly, unorganized, unapproved and illegal developments.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Real Estate and Construction

Lagos directs commercial property owners in Ogudu GRA to produce planning permits

The government said it would not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions on erring property developers.

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Lagos state imposes 24-hour curfew, as hoodlums hijack #EndSARS protest, Social clubs, recreational centres to reopen August 14, Lagos International Trade Fair to get permanent site soon, Sanwo-Olu vows , Lagos State discloses road expansion plans in an effort to combat traffic, Lagos State cracking down on Uber, Bolt, Ocar a week after Okada, Keke Napep ban , LASG increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks

The Lagos State Government has asked owners of commercial buildings in Ogudu GRA to produce their enabling building permits.

The request follows repeated contraventions of the state’s physical planning laws by some recalcitrant individuals and organizations.

While speaking on the development, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, expressed the State government’s determination to stop the flagrant abuse of its planning laws and engender a culture of compliance among the people.

READ: Lagos to impose building insurance on properties above 2 floors, meets stakeholders

Salako said, “The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, on Wednesday, served contravention notices and stop-work orders on 38 commercial buildings, including banks, eateries, malls and hotels on Ogudu Road in Ogudu GRA in line with our determination to curb flagrant disobedience of the law.’’

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“We shall continue to enforce compliance and sensitize the people to do the needful so that we can achieve in earnest our goal of an organized, orderly, livable and sustainable environment for the benefit of all.’’

The Commissioner reiterated that government would not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions including sealing and pulling down of contravening buildings, where necessary, as well as the imposition of penalties on erring property developers.

READ: Multichoice Nigeria: How investing $2.1 billion in Nigeria’s media and entertainment value chain impacts national economy

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Going further, Salako warned property developers not to confuse penal fees with approval to go ahead with construction of the illegal building, saying that reliance on payment of penal fees alone to continue developing a building would amount to an untoward act which is reprehensible.

He said, “To discourage unapproved building construction, the penalty is usually imposed for non-conformity with building approvals such as illegal change of use, altering a number of units or floors and unapproved renovation among others.’’

READ: Dangote Sugar Refinery: Revenue soars amid rising cost of sales

While maintaining that the penal fee was cautionary and only a condition precedent to making the right submissions to the approving authorities, Salako urged property owners and developers to always make honest submissions when applying for Planning Permits and ensure strict compliance to the dictates of the permit granted by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA).

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Real Estate and Construction

4 key points in the new Lagos 2020 Land Use Charge

All property owned, occupied by anyone older than 60 years are exempted from paying the Land Use Charge.

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4 key points in the new Lagos 2020 Land Use Charge, Lagos offers tech founders N250 million seed fund, cuts stringent access , Governor Sanwo-olu launches 14 ferries to tackle gridlock, says Okada ban irreversible, ride-hailing

Lagos State Government has released the new provisions in the new 2020 Land Use Charge (LUC) Law,  which entails the reduction in penalties for defaults, the people exempted from the charge and forfeiture of  N5.8 billion penalties among others.

While presenting the guideline to the public on Wednesday, the Commissioner of Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, explained in 2018, there was an increase in the Land Use Charge rate as well as the method of valuation of properties, this shock had a sporadic increase in Land Use Charge payable by property owners.

He said, “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.”

Back story: Earlier on Wednesday, Nairametrics reported that the state government revoked the 2018 land use charge. According to Olowo, the government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.

He said, “The penalties for land use charges for 2017, 2018, and 2019 have also been waived, which translates to a loss of revenue amounting to N5.6billion.

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READ MORE: Would you have invested in buying a plot of land in Abuja FCT in 1980?

Below are 4 key components of the new law:

People exempted from the law:

All property owned and occupied by pensioners are exempted from paying the LUC. The definition of Pensioner, according to the state, has been expanded to include all 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.

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Non-exempted

  • Profit oriented Cemeteries and Burial Grounds are no longer exempted from payment of Land Use Charge
  • Private Libraries are also no longer exempted from paying Land Use Charge

Reductions of penalties and rates 

  • Days Outstanding Before Now
    45-75 days from 25% to 10%
    75-105 days from 50% to 20%
    105-135 days from 100% to 50%
  • A 48% reduction in the Annual Charge Rates:
    Definition Areas Before Now
    Owner-Occupied Residential Property 0.076% to 0.0394%
    Industrial Premises of Manufacturing Concerns 0.256% to 0.132%
    Residential Property/Private School (Owner & 3rd Party) 0.256% to 0.132%
    Residential Property (Without Owner in residence) 0.76% to 0.394%
    Commercial property (Used by the occupier for Business Purposes) 0.76% to 0.394%
    Vacant Properties and open empty Land 0.076% to 0.0394%
  • Annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.
  • Penalties for Land Use Charge for Year 2017,2018 and 2019 have also been waived. This translates to N5,752,168,411.03 potential revenue waived by the State.
  • In addition to the reintroduction of the 15% early payment discount, an additional COVID 19 incentive of 10% will be granted on the total amount payable. This makes the total discount for early payment 25% if payment is made before the due date
  • The penalty for obstruction of officials and damage to property identification plague has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
  • The penalty for inciting a person to refuse to pay LUC has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
  • The 2020 LUC Law introduced a 10% and 20% special relief for Vacant properties and Open empty land, respectively.
  • The right of enforcement has been reduced from notification of three (3) default notices to (2) default notices.

Agents of LUC

  • Section 14 of the Law which makes it possible for the Commissioner to appoint any person including an occupier of a chargeable property to be an agent of the owner for the purpose of collecting Land Use Charge.

While we assure Lagosians that our typical response time will not exceed 24hours, we urge anyone who feels dissatisfied or whose complaint results in a dispute to please contact the Lagos State Appeal Tribunal. Let me state that we share in the pain which the pandemic has brought on every household including the government,” he added.

Olowo added that while the state hopes for the return of normalcy to business activities, it is important to let residents know that, the payment of LUC is not intended to inflict any hardship on anyone.

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Meanwhile, property owners are expected to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and they are to leverage on the 25% early payment discount.

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Real Estate and Construction

Why the FG should reverse 6% tenancy, lease stamp duty – NLC

Wabba urged the government to reverse the policy, as Nigerians are still battling the COVID-19 fallouts.

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Ayuba Wabba, Why the FG should reverse 6% tenancy, lease stamp duty - NLC

The introduction of 6% tenancy and lease agreement stamp duty in the country will cause more hardship for the Nigerian workers who form the majority of the tenant population.

This was contained in a statement from the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, and made available to NAN on Saturday.

It was also stated that introducing hikes in taxes and user access fees at a time when governments of other countries are offering palliatives to their citizens, does not portray the image of a government sensitive to the needs of its citizens.

Wabba urged the government to reverse the policy, as Nigerians are still struggling with the socio-economic pressure arising from COVID-19 fallouts.

READ ALSO: FIRS introduces stamp duty on house rent and C of O transactions

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“We call on the Federal Government and the Federal Inland Revenue Service to rescind this harsh fiscal measure as it is boldly insensitive to the material condition of Nigerians which has been compounded by the Covid-19.

“Nobody would want to be a tenant if they had alternative. This means that tenants which this new policy targets are some of the most vulnerable people in our society” he said.

He noted that accommodation is a fundamental right guaranteed by Nigeria’s constitution, and should not have a higher tax rate of 6% when sales tax is 1.5%.

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Why this matters

Recent weeks have been ridden with several probes and scandals on misappropriation of public funds, and Wabba noted that these issues have further dampened the trust of the citizens in the government.

NLC noted in its statement that given the scandals, it does not make sense to ask Nigerians to make sacrifices when they are daily regaled with putrid stories of how public officials are accused of swallowing money in billions and making a comedy of ‘fainting’ afterward.

READ ALSO: FIRS’ Nami doubtful of meeting Buhari’s revenue target, runs to Lagos for help 

He added that the government should make more efforts towards reducing official graft and corruption, and in line with the principle of public taxation, have a tax policy where the rich subsidizes the poor.

Wabba noted that the principle of public taxation, especially progressive taxation all over the world is that the rich subsidizes for the poor, and that every tax policy that would be enforceable must create a safety net for the poor.

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Backstory

The federal government, through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), introduced a new policy stipulating an additional 6% stamp duty fee for every tenancy and lease agreement in the country.

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READ ALSO: NIPOST workers picket Ministry of Finance over stamp duty 

The implementation of this new policy implies that tenants will have to pay more to make up for the stamp duty charge.

“While we expect the reversal of the 6 per cent tenancy and lease stamp duty policy, we remind government that its highest responsibility is to ensure the security and welfare of every Nigerian,” Wabba said.

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