A nongovernmental organization, Centre for Public Accountability, (CPA) has thrown its weight behind Lagos state government over recent increases in land use charge, car registration fees and litigation fees paid by residents of the state.
CPA, in a statement by its Executive Director, Olufemi Lawson on Friday, argued that the increases were necessary to enable the Lagos generate revenue through tax to be able to develop and compete with other states across the globe.
The group also noted that the charges have not been reviewed since they were first introduced in 2011.
“Since over fifteen years that the law was first enacted, despite astronomical inflationary index, the minimum charge in 2001 is N1,200 and in 2018, it is N5,000.
“Every rational person knows that tax is a fundamental means for Government to raise resources to meet up with the provision of social amenities that make life more amenable to the citizens.” CPA’s Olufemi expressed.
The group added that those complaining about the new charges are against the development of the state.
It added that those against the increases in fees failed to make their views known when they had the opportunity of doing so during public hearing sessions organized by Lagos House of Assembly.
It said, “The law went through the required legislative processes before it was passed which included a public hearing where those now crying could have ventilated their apprehensions.”
The NGO also claimed Ikeja branch of Nigeria Bar Association and its Chairman, Adesina Ogunlana are being used by some rich elements in the society who wants to continue evading tax to disrupt the peace of the state.
“We unequivocally condemn the plan of Ikeja NBA to cause a public riot in the State if the law is not reversed,” said the group.
CPA added that it is also backed by law to embark on protest against the decision of the lawyers to instigate what it described ‘as chaos in the state through their planned protest against increment of land use charge among other taxes.’