L-R: Honorable Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Chairman, The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, (NIESV) Lagos Branch, Mr. Olurogba Orimalade; Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Mr. Kolade Kasim; Practice Committee Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects, (NIA), Lagos Chapter, Arc. Ifeoma George-Ufot at a stakeholders’ meeting with professionals in the Real Estate sector on the newly enacted Land Use Charge Law, held on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Protea Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.

Chairman (Lagos State Chapter) of The Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Olurogba Orinmalade has hailed Governor Ambode’s gesture in slashing the new Land Use Charge for Commercial properties by 50%. At a stakeholders meeting held at The Protea Hotels, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr. Orimalade described the Ambode led government as a listening government and pledged his association’s support for the new law and all other progressive decisions of the government going forward. In his words, “we are committed to working with the present Lagos State administration to make the new law succeed and we have already set up a technical committee to come up in ten days, with directions, recommendations and position of the Institution on the law in order to collaborate with the government for a better society.

Arc. Ifeoma George, Vice President Nigeria Institute of Architects, said at the meeting that “this is a listening government and propose that stakeholders should continue to be carried along in all government dealings, going forward “. The event was a meeting with professionals in the real estate sector.

The commissioner for Finance, Lagos State, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, took the opportunity to further enumerate other reliefs entailed in the amended Land Use Charge Law. He emphasized that the state government was opened to further discussions on how to solve the challenges plaguing infrastructural financing and investments in Lagos State. He also mentioned that there will be no penalty for late payment in this 2018 regime as earlier stipulated. Furthermore, the amended Land Use Charge Law is a property tax that consolidates the tenement rate, Neighbourhood Improvement rate, and Ground rent.

Outside of the commercial properties, properties occupied by owners and third party used for commercial purposes will get a further 25% discount, while a wholly owner-occupied property will get an additional 15% discount as graciously pronounced by the government. In addition to these, all the other reliefs enumerated at the inception of the amended law remains valid. These include 40% general relief across board, meaning that whatever is the value of the property, 40% will be deducted and the charge will only be calculated on the remaining 60%. For elder citizens above 70years old, there is an additional 10% discount. For those living with any form of disability, there is also 10% discount while properties that are 25 years old and above will also enjoy another 10% discount. Above all, payments can be staggered across the year to soothe the economic convenience of the payer.

The Commissioner also emphasized that self-assessment of property will be encouraged to help individuals calculate their charges appropriately.
They are allowed to use their independent Estate Valuers to assess their property and bring such discrepancies up to the government for reconciliation. The state government according to Mr. Ashade, the Commissioner for Finance, is opened to discussions and ever willing and ready to dialogue on the Land Use Charge Law or any other government policy for that matter.

Everyone present at the meeting agreed and fully appreciated the unparalleled efforts of the state government in turning around the infrastructural fortunes of the state. They pledged their loyalty and support to the government’s efforts towards the Lagos Mega City Drive.

To buttress this point, members of the Estate Agents Association present, pledged to partner with the state government in advising the landlords to speedily pay Land Use Charge.

The stakeholders meeting had in attendance professional associations and bodies like Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Faculty of Estate Agency and Auctioneering, International Real Estate Federation, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Association of Builders & Property Developers, and Association of Town Planners and Estate Agents of Nigeria.