Land Use Charge:

The Punch - - HOMES & PROPERTY -

STAKE­HOLD­ERS in the real es­tate in­dus­try have said the La­gos State Gov­ern­ment should in­crease the num­ber of prop­er­ties that have been val­ued un­der the amended Land Use Charge Law, 2018.

they noted that this would take away the bur­den of pay­ing high levies on prop­er­ties by a few in the state.

the Deputy pres­i­dent, Real es­tate De­vel­op­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria, Mr Ak­in­toye Adeoye, who ap­plauded the re­cent amend­ment of the LUC by the La­gos State House of As­sem­bly, said the num­ber of prop­er­ties that were cap­tured be­fore the sus­pen­sion of the process in 2018 was too small com­pared to the pop­u­la­tion of the state.

He said, “the per­cent­age of prop­er­ties that have been as­sessed is still less than 30 per cent. Rather than tax this num­ber of peo­ple, it is bet­ter for the gov­ern­ment to widen the net and bring more prop­erty own­ers on­board.

“it doesn’t make sense to tax just a few peo­ple, es­pe­cially in a chal­lenged econ­omy like ours. We should bring in more peo­ple rather than in­crease the rate for a few.”

Adeoye said the state gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to amend the LUC would en­cour­age more peo­ple to in­vest in prop­erty in La­gos.

A six-man ad hoc com­mit­tee, chaired by Ro­timi Olowo, re­cently pre­sented the re­port of its find­ings from a pub­lic hear­ing to the House of As­sem­bly re­veal­ing that the re­view of the LUC was gen­er­ally per­ceived to be ar­bi­trary and un­re­al­is­tic.

Dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, Olowo was quoted to have said the Sec­tion 1(2), “Pen­sioner” should be re­de­fined to in­clude all re­tirees res­i­dent in the state from fed­eral and state in­sti­tu­tions and from both pri­vate and cor­po­rate or­gan­i­sa­tions domi­ciled in the state.

He said it was agreed by par­tic­i­pants and stake­hold­ers dur­ing the pub­lic hear­ing that va­cant plots of land and un­oc­cu­pied prop­er­ties should be ex­empted from the LUC li­a­bil­i­ties and a proper clas­si­fi­ca­tion of com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial prop­erty in the state should be done for the pur­pose of levy­ing.

Among other amend­ment is the Sec­tion 17(c) (i) stat­ing that there is no need for 50 per cent pay­ment by ag­grieved own­ers over dis­puted charges be­fore their el­i­gi­bil­ity to ap­peal while ag­grieved res­i­dents and prop­erty own­ers should pay the

Real es­tate, Mr Ayo ibaru, said it strug­gled.

Ac­cord­ing to him, de­vel­op­ers be­came much more flex­i­ble on pay­ment plans and sig­nif­i­cantly re­vised their prod­uct types and prices to ac­com­mo­date their tar­get mar­ket.

He stated that go­ing for­ward, it would be nec­es­sary for real es­tate de­vel­op­ers and ser­vice providers to con­sis­tently fo­cus on prod­ucts and ser­vices in tune with ef­fec­tive de­mand.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, North­court Real es­tate, Mr tayo Odunsi, pre­dicted that con­struc­tion costs could rise by mid-year as de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in­creased.

He, how­ever, stated that yields would favour op­er­a­tional real es­tate hav­ing de­vel­op­ment such as stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion and en­ter­tain­ment.

He said more in­ter­na­tional en­trants were also ex­pected to in­vest more in the coun­try’s re­tail, hospi­tal­ity and proptech space.

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