Lagos State Governor, Babajide Samwo-Olu, has reversed the controversial Land Use Charge, (LUC) Law of his predecessor, governor Akinwunmi Ambode, and reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
Ambode had, in 2018, announced the LUC law which was an increase of about 400 percent of the previous administration of governor Babatunde Fashola.
The governor announced this through the Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Olowo, during a press briefing at Alausa, Ikeja.
The government also waived penalties for land use charge for 2017, 2018 and 2019, which according to the commissioner translates to a loss of revenue amounting to about N5.6 billion.
“We considered the LUC reform very necessary to accommodate the agitations of Lagosians and reduce the financial pressure on citizens as it relates to land use. As you are aware in 2018, there was an increase in LUC rate as well as the method of valuation of property, this twin shock had a sporadic increase in LUC payable by property owners,” he said.
In the new law, although a property owned and occupied by a pensioner is exempted, but such an incentive ceased once the retiree dies.
The government described a pensioner as “all retirees from private and public institutions in the state or any person that has attained the age of 60 years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration”
According to the new law, profit-oriented cemeteries, burial grounds and private libraries are no longer exempted from payment.
Also, the agricultural sector had its annual charge rate percentage reduced from 0.076 percent to 0.01 percent which is an 87 percent reduction from the old rate.
The 2020 LUC law also introduced a 10 percent and 20 percent special relief for vacant property and open empty land respectively.
The government said payment for the new LUC law could be made online via https://Lagos.ebs-rcm.com, while same could also be made using USSD code to some designated banks with the appropriate codes.
He extended sincere appreciation to Lagosians “who have been very committed to the payment of their annual LUC in spite of the challenges posed on every one of us by the COVID-19 pandemic.”