LUC: Lagos woos property owners with discounts, waivers
Tank farm operators get ultimatum on planning permit
Lagos property owners are to heave a sigh of relief as the State Government has announced waivers in the payment of the Land Use Charges (LUC) for year 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The state has also granted 25 percent discount to all property owners that pay on or before 30 days after the bill is delivered. Similarly, the 2020 LUC Law further introduced a 10 percent and 20 percent special relief for vacant properties and Open empty land, respectively.
The right of enforcement has been reduced from notification of three default notices to two default notices. Section 14 of the Law also makes it possible for the Commissioner to appoint any person including an occupier of a chargeable property to be an agent of the owner for the purpose of collecting land use charge.
Before now, concerns were rife in 2018 over increment in the charges as well as the method of valuation of properties by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration.
The Guardian also learnt that the new move by the government was aimed at reducing the sufferings of residents and businesses occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the new provisions, all property owned and occupied by pensioners are exempted from paying the LUC. For example, outstanding payments within 45-75 days have been reduced from 25 percent to 10per cent, 75-105 days from 50per cent to 20per cent, 105-135 days from 100per cent to 50per cent, while there is also a 48 percent reduction in the annual charge rates.
Others include, a reduction in owner-occupied residential property from 0.076 percent to 0.0394per cent, industrial premises of manufacturing concerns from 0.256per cent to 0.132per cent.
Residential property/private school (owner and third Party) from 0.256per cent to 0.132per cent, residential property (without owner in residence) from 0.76per cent to 0.394 per cent,
Commercial property (used by the occupier for business purposes) from 0.76per cent to 0.394per cent and properties and open empty land from 0.076per cent to 0.0394per cent.
There is also a reduction on annual charge rate for Agricultural land from 0.076per cent to 0.01per cent. This is an 87per cent reduction from the old rate.
In addition to the reintroduction of the 15per cent early payment discount, an additional COVID-19 incentive of 10per cent will be granted on the total amount payable, amounting to 25 per cent in a total discount for early payment if payment is made before the due date
The Commissioner of Finance, Dr. Rabiu Olowo, explained that the current administration decided to review the charges by reversing the rate of Land Use Charge to pre-2018 while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.” The commissioner assured Lagosians that the response time for any complaint will not exceed 24 hours.
MEANWHILE, the state government has given tank farm operators one-week ultimatum to regularise their facilities by filling application for planning permit.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, who gave the directive at a meeting with tank farm operators in Ikeja, observed that only eight out of the 41 tank farms had planning permits authorising their establishments.
According to him, most of the tank farms had been operating illegally and at variance with Section 27 of the state’s Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Building Control Agency (LASBCA) regulations 2019.
He stated that any tank farm that failed to start the process of regularisation of its facility after one week would face serious sanctions. Salako said that the operations of the tank farms had thrown up many challenges for the state, including pipeline vandalism, environmental degradation, fire outbreak, traffic congestion and destruction of public infrastructure among others.
Viewing the challenges posed with serious concern, he said, the government had chosen to engage operators to find a lasting solution. To ease the challenges, the Commissioner maintained that it was paramount for the tank farms to provide complementary facilities and services such as holding bays, traffic personnel as well as the maintenance of buffer zone of 250meters to 500meters between the tank farm and the community.
He added that government had approved the preparation of Action Area Plan for Ijegun Egba to address the planning issues raised by the operations of tank farms such as road connectivity, security and transportation linkage.
Responding separately on behalf of the operators, Mr. Joseph Anabel and Mr. Ibraheem Yaro Muhammed expressed delight with the meeting and pledged to collaborate with the government for improvement in the observed areas.
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