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ANRP Rejects Oppressive, Cut-Throat Revenue Drive and Crony Capitalism in Lagos State

Added : Sun Mar 18, 2018 @ 20:46:23 || Read by 305 Visitor(s)

ANRP Rejects Oppressive, Cut-Throat Revenue Drive and Crony Capitalism in Lagos State

ABUJA, 18 March 2018 -- Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) at the weekend in the strongest terms expressed her aversion to oppressive laws that squeeze life out of already impoverished citizens; the inversion of the essence to governance from the collective good for all citizens to a plutocracy that favours a tiny clique, their families, friends, and associates; and converting public property and services to private ones for some individuals. Lagos State Government (LASG) offers a sordid example. 
 
In the past weeks LASG amended the Land Use Act 2001 replacing it with an obnoxious law which increased the Land Use Charge by 400%, Motor Rates and Taxes by 1,600%, Court Rates by 2000%, Bore Hole Taxes by 68,000% and so on. 
 
Some have argued that taxes/rates in major cities of the world are usually higher than in other places in the same countries, and so Lagos being a megacity cannot be different. They posit that those who cannot cope may wish to relocate to other places where they may be able to cope. ANRP rejects this argument and line of thought in its entirety. In Lagos (as all across Nigeria) citizens already procure services the government is responsible for providing. For instance, the whole idea of digging private boreholes is an anomaly. Governments around the world provide water as a quasi-social good and it is the failure of governance that necessitate individuals and private concerns to drill boreholes which the Lagos government now wishes to tax at an exorbitant rate.  
 
Refuse collection is the duty of Local Governments. LASG has an agency that was responsible for this. This agency's responsibility has been relegated, a foreign private company is now positioned to monopolise refuse collection and is failing woefully at this. There are mountains of disease-causing waste and debris all over Lagos presently and LASG seems to be helpless. 
 
It is in this context of a glaring failure of governance that these intolerable rates increment were announced. Everything about the new rates is wrong. For instance, hiking court fees by 2,000% implies that justice is for sale, and not to be accessed by everybody. We believe strongly that before such massive upward rate/tax reviews, it is important for government to reflate the economy by ensuring millions of opportunities for employment and business for its citizens.
 
Also noteworthy is the fact that a private company Alpha Beta, widely known to be owned by a certain  politician/political godfather found its name in a state legislation as a sole revenue collector. The state legislature later called it a 'mistake'. ANRP believes the Governor Ambode-led APC administration should not be allowed to paper over this monumental gaffe.
 
A few months ago, LASG forcefully evicted residents of Otodo Gbame. Some were killed in the process, properties were burnt, clear orders of the court were violated. The area has been forcefully taken over by displacing the residents without compensation, in order to create private luxury apartments for those who can afford. What LASG seeks to achieve is to forcefully chase citizens away from Lagos with the obnoxious rates. With this barrage of obnoxious taxes and rate reviews, it is evident that the Lagos government has embarked on a puritanic quest to create a state where only millionaires can inhabit. 
 
Governments raise finances through taxes, charges, etc. However, it behooves on governments to demonstrate clearly how the finances raised are deployed. Citizens must be able to testify that quality service is being offered them, and their finances are being prudently managed and transparently too. One of the main issues in our society is the growing deficit in trust between the government and the governed due to the lack of honesty, openness, transparency, and accountability. Governments need to prioritise the welfare of the largest number of people in society especially the weakest and most vulnerable. That is how reasonable societies function. Also, there should be nothing opaque about money, who it goes to and what precisely it is used for. After all, it is the people's money. This is our belief in ANRP.
 
ANRP looks forward to a complete reversal of the new charges regime to the status quo, as well as a reversal of mindset from those running the state. Lagos belongs to all, not to some, or only the extremely rich. The Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode should not incur the wrath of the people. 
 
 
Join us. Learn more about us at: www.anrp.org.ng
 
 
Sesugh Akume 
National Spokesman
 
Office Telephone: 09064796674 (9 am - 5 pm)
@AbundantNigeria

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