NBA, oth­ers protest, warn Am­bode against new land law

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Se­san Olu­fowobi and Oladimeji Ra­mon

THE Nige­rian Bar As­so­ci­a­tion, Ikeja branch, on Tues­day made good its threat to protest against the La­gos State Land Use Charge Law 2018.

The NBA was sup­ported by the Na­tional Con­science Party, Com­mit­tee for the De­fence of Hu­man Rights and Joint Ac­tion Com­mit­tee, among oth­ers.

The groups stormed the La­gos State Gov­ern­ment’s sec­re­tar­iat in Alausa, Ikeja, to protest against the new law, say­ing it had led to a hike in the levies charged by gov­ern­ment on prop­erty.

The ‘Hell Tax Must Go’ protest started from the La­gos State Mag­is­trate’s Court in Ikeja, from where the pro­test­ers marched to the Gov­ern­ment House and the La­gos State House of Assem­bly com­plex in Alausa.

The pro­test­ers dis­played plac­ards, some of which read, ‘We are not sell­ing houses,’ ‘La­gos is not only for the rich,’ and ‘Land Use Charge in­cre­ment is wicked and op­pres­sive.’

Sub­mit­ting a protest let­ter to the Assem­bly, the Chair­man, NBA, Ikeja branch, Adesina Ogun­lana, said lawyers and mem­bers of the civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions were op­posed to the law, which he de­scribed as a “Pharao­hoic tax regime,” ask­ing the gov­ern­ment to re­verse it.

Ogun­lana said Gover­nor Ak­in­wunmi Am­bode must not take Lagosians who voted for him for granted by im­pos­ing heavy taxes on them.

“Must La­gos be­come a so-called par­adise at the ex­pense of the lives and limbs of Lagosians?

“Am­bode should not let peo­ple re­gret vot­ing for him the first time and go on to re­ject him for a sec­ond term,” Ogun­lana said.

The NBA branch chair­man pointed out that that taxes in­tro­duced by the present ad­min­is­tra­tion would fur­ther lead to job losses.

He said. “We urge that you sus­pend the ap­pli­ca­tion of Land Use Charge Law for im­me­di­ate re­view.

“The truth is that the pop­u­lace lacks the ca­pac­ity to bear the tax bur­den im­posed on them.”

Re­spond­ing, the state Com­mis­sioner for In­for­ma­tion and Strat­egy, Ke­hinde Bamigbe­tan, and the Ma­jor­ity Leader, La­gos State House of Assem­bly, Se­nai Agun­bi­ade, as­sured the pro­test­ers that gov­ern­ment would re­spond pos­i­tively to their de­mands soon.

Bamigbe­tan, said, “We have re­ceived your let­ter and I can as­sure you that we will ad­dress your de­mands. The gover­nor is open to di­a­logue.”

Agun­bi­ade, how­ever, pointed out that if the pro­test­ers had at­tended the pub­lic hear­ing on the bill, their in­put would have been in­cluded be­fore the pas­sage.

“How­ever, all the state law­mak­ers will look at your de­mands and re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately,” he added.

• Photo: NAN

Photo: NAN

• Scene of the protest

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