The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has assured that the state was ready for dialogue on the new Land Use Charge which has been generating controversies across Lagos and beyond, saying the state was positive of meeting with various stakeholders on the development which he maintained optimism would bring about a positive outcome in overall interest of the people going forward.
Ambode stated that state government would come out with a positive position to ameliorate issues raised by stakeholders on the new Land Use Charge Law in the next one week, and that the increment was all in a bid to protect the future and create permanent prosperity for the State.
The governor, who briefed journalists on the issue on Monday in Lagos, said that his administration was sensitive and responsive to yearnings of people, and that had met with various stakeholders in the last one week to explain rationale behind new law.
He said: “Just the way that you would have observed, we held a session with the business community last week on Lagos Means Business and one of the topical issues that were raised was about the Land Use Charge and during that session, I did say that the State Government was opened to dialogue. Ever since that Tuesday, we have been consulting people and we have also been trying to explain the basis of this Land Use Charge Law.”
Ambode explained that of 300 tax items in the state, only the Land Use Charge and undisclosed other law were reviewed, and that the development was targeted at fast-tracking development and protecting the future of the State.
“I want Lagosians to understand one particular issue. We have over 300 tax items for which nothing has been touched apart from this Land Use Charge and maybe one other. But again, we are a very responsive government; we are very sensitive because at the end of the day, governance is about the people; it is about what they want.
“Yes, people might like that infrastructural development is on the progressive chart in Lagos but also it comes with a price. But notwithstanding in the middle of all that, a responsive government will listen to the yearnings of her people.
“So, obviously when I say I want dialogue, I really mean it and I am ready to respond to that. In the last one week, we have been meeting different groups; we have been talking and we have been making people to understand also and I think by the end of this week, we should be able to come out with something positive that actually ameliorate the issues being raised by concerned stakeholders,” he said.
He indicated that ultimate goal of his administration was to create a framework to put the State on a sound pedestal for economic growth and prosperity, and as well secure the future of the State, but that something positive would be done to respond to the issues raised by the people.
“At the end of the day, it’s all for the development of Lagos. What this government is interested in is to create a trajectory and framework of permanent prosperity for Lagos. It is not about today, it is about the future and if there is going to be permanent prosperity in Lagos, some things have to be done but I can tell you based on the dialogue and the things we have been receiving, obviously we would respond positively to those yearnings,” Ambode added.