Reactions have started trailing a move by the Ondo state government to emulate the controversial Lagos State policy of reviewing its land use charge that will make owners of structures to pay more taxes on their landed property.
Professionals and experts are the latest to cautioned Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to drop the idea of imposing land use charges on residents in the face of current economic hardship.
The Ondo state Chairman of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, APBN, Pastor Gboyega Akerele told newsmen in Akure that there was a need for the Ondo state government to consult stakeholders effectively especially landlords and professionals before introducing or implementing the policy which had in recent time set Lagos government against its people and civil society groups.
Akerele was speaking ahead of the 2018 Presidential Retreat of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) tagged: “Repositioning the APBN: Strategies for Collaboration of Professional Bodies”.
The APBN Chairman pointed out that the police would fail if Governor Akeredolu’s administration refused to the needful and attributed failure of many government’s policies in Nigeria to refusal of policy makers and lawmakers to engage expertise of professional bodies in the country.
Pastor Akerele said professionals across the country led by Dr Idris Omede would converge on Akure this week to deliberate and proffer solutions to braindrain, quackery and non-patronage of indigenous experts by government.
It will be recalled that the Lagos State government had been at loggerheads with residents over an increase in land use charges under the Lagos State Land Use Charge (LUC) Law and after several protests and marches, the Akinwumi Ambode-led government soft-pedalled and reduced the land use charges.
However, the Ondo State Government said it was treading with caution, choosing to hold meetings with property owners before introducing the new law, according to the state Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa who described the land use charge law as a veritable and legal revenue generation means for the government.