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Residents, stakeholders throng Lagos assembly, demand reversal of land use charge

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• Ikeja NBA, civil society groups seek postponement of public hearing
Aggrieved residents and stakeholders yesterday thronged the Lagos State House of Assembly to demand the reversal of the new land use charge.

The Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), civil society groups, representatives of residential estates, private schools, property and landowners were among the participants.

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said the attendance was the highest ever recorded in the assembly since 2003.

But, the NBA Chairman, Adeshina Ogunlana, demanded that the public hearing be postponed, due to the short notice given.

“The law and the amendment should be published in a national newspaper with two weeks notice,” he said.
 
Obasa urged the stakeholders to consider the need to move Lagos forward, because it has assumed the toga of a nation within a nation.

He added that the inability of the state to meet its developmental challenges necessitated the policy.

He lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to accord the state the special status that it had requested.

But, Ogunlana insisted that they were opposed to the public hearing because they had no access to the amendment.

He said the postponement would allow the stakeholders to read through the amendment document and make their contributions.

But the chairman of the 6-member ad hoc committee, Bayo Oshinowo, said there was no basis for such postponement.

The speaker added that the NBA alone was not enough to challenge the late notice given on the issue.

He disclosed that the amendment parts were eight sections, adding that the controversial aspects of the law, and the non-availability of the document were not enough to call for a postponement.

According to him, stakeholders could still send their positions after the public hearing.


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