…..pledges commitment to peace and development.
Gov Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has commended the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) in the state for supporting policies of his administration, especially the 2018 Land Use Charge.
The state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, conveyed the governor’s to the body of religious leaders on Thursday at their quarterly meeting held at Alausa Secretariat, Lagos.
The religious leaders also used the occasion to declare their support of Ambode’s second term bid.
While delivering the goodwill message to the religious leaders Abdul-Lateef said that the governor remained focused on the socio-economic and infrastructural transformation of the state.
In the effort to make Lagos the second largest economy in Africa, he said, this administration will continue to count on the full support of faith-based organisations and all other groups for counselling and participation in the desire to achieve “Smart City State”.
According to him, the Smart City State will not only be the pride of all Africans, but also a worthy legacy to bequeath to successive generations.
The said that the governor acknowledged their commitment, concrete strategies and collaboration in the sustenance of peaceful coexistence and religious harmony in Lagos.
“Gov. Ambode promised to continue with policies that will further enshrine peace and religious harmony,’’ AbdulLateef said.
He implored the spiritual leaders and all Lagosians to continue to pray for the state and work more together to nip in the bud any problems “that can jeopardise our peaceful co-existence, religious harmony and developmental efforts’’.
On the matter of 2018 Land Use Charge Law, Ambode expressed thanked the religious leaders on their stand-point to support his desire to ensure rapid socio-economic transformation and infrastructural modernisation of the state.
Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the commissioner spoke on Ambode’s dedication to the welfare of Lagosians and his exemplary leadership style.
While thanking participants for their support and collaboration in the governance of the state, Abdul-Lateef described their efforts as “fundamental to the sustenance of peace and development, which would greatly enhance the citizens’ standards of living’’.
He enjoined participants on the need to promote massive awareness, correct misconception and promote understanding of the goodness inherent in the recently introduced revised Land Use Charge Law of 2018, as “is still being grossly misunderstood” and that we all need to be wary of the fifth columnists and opportunists with ulterior motives to stall the wheel of progress in Lagos.
Meanwhile, Mr Abdul Fatai Lasisi, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation and Revenue said that the Revised Land Use Charge had been grossly misunderstood by the people.
He said the law “has a lot of benefits and relatively easy to understand”.
Lasisi affirmed that Ambode has brought unsurpassed accomplishments in all critical areas of development in close to three years of stewardship.
The Special Adviser said that Gov. Ambode had developed the infrastructural and socio-economic spheres of the state exponentially, thus scaling up modernisation, industrialisation and living standards of the citizenry.
Lasisi revealed that only about 700,000 tenements have been captured in the state tax-net, which he said “is quite low’’ considering the estimated number of houses in built-up areas across the state.
He described the revised 2018 Land Use Charge Law as an Annual Charge rate expressed in percentages of the assessed market values of properties such as owner-occupied, partly commercialised and revenue generating ones.
“There will be no more multiple charges from local governments or other government agencies as the harmonised law covers ground rent and tenement rates,’’ Lasisi said.
While highlighting the benefits of the newly revised law, he said “it is a very creative piece of legislation.
“It is scientific, predictable and easier for self-assessment, more harmonised, relatively cheaper and affordable.
“The charges are done in a transparent and consultative manner, and quite predictable’’.
By Oluwashina Iyanda