Lagos Government yesterday said it generated N6bn in Land Use Charge revenues in 2015 just as it threatened to seal off property of defaulting residents.

Although it said that the amount dropped from N7.14bn it generated in 2014, the government reiterated its determination to prosecute defaulters according to the law with a view to increasing the revenue.

It however dismissed insinuations that it was the responsibility of tenants to pay the land use charge, saying every land owners and landlords were compelled by law to pay the charge.

Briefing reporters at the State Secretariat, Alausa, Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi said that the state would do everything within the ambit of the law to increase the revenue in order to meet up with the state’s increased overheads.

According to him, the government had put in place a variety of payment options which included paying at the bank or the nearest Land Use Charge offices to residents using cash or POS or payment online through credit or debit cards.

The Akinkunmi however apologised for the delay in the distribution of the bills this year, attributing it to the need to clean up the data sets which were previously in operation.

While noting that a more robust clearer data sets were now in place, he said despite the delay in the delivery of the bills, tax payers were still entitled to the usual 15 per cent discounted rate if payment was made within 15 days of delivery as others paying outside the 15 days grace not exceeding 30 calendar days would pay the actual due amount. He said: “It is the landlords that are expected to pay the Charge.

They can have agreements with their tenants but from the government’s perspective, it is the landlord that the law recognises in paying the Charge.

“Payment of Land Use Charge is a requirement of law and property tax. Defaulters will have their properties sealed and are liable to be prosecuted in court.

“I would like to appeal to all property owners to stop encouraging such habit. The Land Use Charge is totally automated because we have records of all properties in the state.

I would encourage all property owners to go through normal procedure of payments to the government.”

Source: New Telegraph Newspaper