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Real Estate and Construction

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

FIRS explained that the new policy was necessary so as to give the instruments the legal backing required.

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FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone, FIRS introduces stamp duty on house rent and C of O transactions

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), as part of measures to reduce disputes in real estate related transactions and generate more revenue, has announced that stamp duty will be paid on house rent and Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), in line with its new adhesive duty.

This was disclosed in a press statement by the FIRS Director for Communication and Liaison Department, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, in Abuja, on Thursday July 2, 2020, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

READ MORE: Devaluation: Experts highlight trends clouding economy’s growth in 2020 

He explained that the new policy was necessary so as to give the instruments the legal backing required, and make them legally binding on all parties involved in such transactions.

Consequently, Ahmad asked Nigerians to ensure that documents that relate to rent and lease agreements for homes or offices, C of O, and other common business-related transaction instruments were authenticated with the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty.

While quoting the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Ahmed said, “The following are the chargeable transactions in the Fixed Duty Instruments category, Power of Attorney (PoA), Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), Proxy form; Appointment of Receiver, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Joint Venture Agreements (JVA), Guarantor’s form, and Ordinary Agreements Receipts.

READ MORE: FIRS tightens noose on deduction of stamp duty, CIT, others 

“While ad-Valorem Instruments chargeable under the Stamp Duties Act are Deed of Assignment, Sales Agreement, Legal Mortgage or Debentures, Tenancy or Lease Agreement, Insurance Policies, Contract Agreements, Vending Agreement, Promissory Notes, Charter-Party and Contract Notes.

“Stamp duty is basically charged in two forms, either ad valorem where duty payable is a percentage of the consideration on an instrument or a fixed sum irrespective of the consideration on dutiable instrument or document.’’

It can be recalled that a few days ago, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties was inauguated; the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty was introduced then. The committee consists of representatives from the FIRS, the CBN, the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

The committee is tasked primarily with enforcing those sections of the Stamp Duties Act that empower the Federal Government to recover stamp duties, as well as the accompanying fines and penalties for up to 5 years.

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The back-years recovery is targeted mostly at financial institutions like deposit money banks, Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and so on, in respect of stamp duties already collected but not yet remitted.

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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 warns land grabbers to stay clear of state’s lands

Lagos warned land grabbers against fraudulent sales of government land.

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Lagos dismisses levy on audio and visual contents, suspends LSFVCB boss, Lagos SEC meeting goes virtual as full lockdown commences, Partial lockdown guidelines for businesses from May 4, Nigeria @ 60: Lagos State Government opts for a low-key celebration of the Independence Day

The Lagos State Government has warned land grabbers against the fraudulent sales of government land, as it steps up efforts to address the menace in the State.

This was disclosed by the Lands Bureau in a statement shared via Twitter on Wednesday.

The Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro stated that the State was addressing incidents of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by land grabbers, known as ‘Omonile’.

He urged members of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, community leaders, land surveyors and other key players in the sector to see the land-grabber menace as a common enemy to the growth of the Real Estate sector and efficient land resources management in Lagos.

READ: Lagos warn against unlawful ownership transfer of state housing units

He said, “These Land Grabbers have now taken their game to a new level as they have the audacity to erect signposts bearing Lagos State Government logo and excision application file numbers in their desperate attempt to deceive the prospective buyers.

“This engagement is, therefore, crucial at this material time as we cannot afford to fold our arms while some dubious persons continue to take advantage of hardworking and responsible Lagosians by selling illegal lands to them.”

According to him, if the Omonile syndrome was not nipped in the bud, it would fester and continue to prevent many well-meaning corporate organisations from making investment decisions due to the confusion, anarchy and avoidable conflicts caused by land grabbers’ activities.

READ: Lagos takes building demolition exercise to Ilupeju

What they are saying

Chairman, Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Mr. Bamidele Onalaja, explained that members of the Association were fully committed to working with the government to confront the challenge posed by land grabbers’ activities in the State.

The Co-Ordinator of the Lagos State Special Taskforce on Lands Grabbers, Mr. Owolabi Arole, noted that the Lagos State Properties Protection Law 2016, established a task force to enforce the provisions of the law and vested in it, power to arrest offenders.

READ: Lagos removes 200 shanties at Opebi to maintain planning standard, restore order

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What you should know

  • Some of the communities where activities of land grabbers are most notorious in Lagos State are Okenla Village, Idake Village, Ajao Oki Village, Ladegbole Village, Imedu Village, Iratirin Village, Obadimisi Village, Shekina Alo Village, Fowoseje Village, Iraboko Village. Adamatiye Community, Ogunro Community and Sorogun Community – all in Ibeju-Lekki, as well as Ogombo Village in Eti-Osa and Oshiun Village in Kosofe, Lagos State.

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Real Estate and Construction

Lagos re-channels, re-aligns Banana Island shoreline, says demolition continues

Lagos says there is an urgent need to nip the land extension work in the bud.

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The Lagos State Government has commenced the re-channelisation and re-alignment of the Banana Island shoreline, with the dredging and re-opening of the illegally reclaimed portion of the Creek at 101 Close, First Avenue on the Island.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Arc. Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi, on Wednesday.

While inspecting the reopening of the creek, Abdullah explained that there was an urgent need to nip the land extension work in the bud.

READ: Lagos warn against unlawful ownership transfer of state housing units

According to him, the extension has narrowed the creek and brought about distortion in the aesthetics of the shoreline as well as a high possibility of environmental degradation.

The Commissioner stated that perpetrators of the illegal reclamation into the Lagoon violate the Physical Planning laws of the State, adding that they had been served with ‘Stop Work’ orders but persisted in the reclamation and construction.

He said, “State Government will not fold its arms and watch the degradation of its environment and attendant risk to life and property of the citizenry.

“The demolition, as well as dredging and channelisation works on the illegally reclaimed lands, will continue at Banana Island and other shoreline areas of Lagos in order to restore sanity.”

READ: Lagos State launches Joint Revenue Committee for efficient tax administration

What you should know

  • The State Government commenced the demolition of buildings that contravened the building laws and regulations in Banana Island on Monday.
  • At 102 Close, K Zone, a section of the lagoon has been reclaimed with just the provision of narrow drainage for water to flow. As a result, the concrete and perimeter fence erected facing the lagoon were pulled down, while the building was sealed and the gate locked.
  • At 306 Close, a two-storey building under construction was pulled down for not getting an approval to build, as the development encroached on the state shoreline.
  • It would also be recalled that the Lagos State Government had sealed off 22 buildings in the Banana Island and Ikoyi axis of the state over lack of building permits and conformity issues.

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