LASG to prosecute Land Use Charge defaulters

The Lagos State Government has revealed plans to prosecute defaulters of the Land Use Charge in the state in its bid to improve compliance.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation and Revenue Matters, Mr Fatai Lasisi, stated this at a programme organised by the Lagos State Branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers tagged: ‘The Summit 2.0’.

Lasisi, who was represented by the Head of Legal in his office, Olufemi Sowemimo, said the development became necessary in order to engender a culture of voluntary tax compliance.

“Arguably, the greatest failing of property tax is the unwillingness of the government to enforce it, as we know that we have a lot of high net worth individuals in our society, who have big and gigantic properties but do not pay taxes yet; none of these people has been prosecuted for failing to pay tax. Therefore, we need strong institutional support to improve property tax compliance in the state,” he said.

He added that tax education and enlightenment programmes were also important and that the government was working on enlightening people on the need for tax compliance.

Lasisi stated that under the new property law, individuals did not need to wait for the government to send the LUC to them, but could value their properties using professionals to calculate how much they had to pay.

“Those contesting the assessed value of their property can assess their property for the purpose of filing their own counter assessment, which will then be considered by the Commissioner of Finance. The line the present administration in Lagos State is toeing is to encourage self-assessment for voluntary compliance, which will be of benefit to all in the long run,” he said.

The SA added that the state government had created a complaint unit in the Ministry of Finance to deal with issues and problems relating to the LUC.

According to him, the governor has directed that complaint units be set up in all the local governments and Local Council Development Areas of the state for easy access to the members of the public who have questions on the LUC.

Other complaint centres, he stated, were the LUC Appeal Tribunal, Citizens’ Gate and the toll-free lines.

“Tax and development run hand in hand. It should, therefore, be taken as a sure deal that the more revenue government has access to, the greater the development potential of that state or country. Evidence from the member counties of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development supports the fact that there is a correlation between tax and development,” Lasisi added.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

 

Court orders Temporary Forfeiture of Dieziani’s N325million Lekki Land to FG

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday ordered the temporary forfeiture of a landed property belonging to the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Dieziani Alison Madueke valued at N325.4million, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Babs Kweuwumi who presided over the court, granted the order of temporary forfeiture of the property, a vacant plot of land said to be at Plot 13, Block 11, Oniru Chieftaincy Family Private Estate, Lekki, Lagos after listening to the Motion Ex-parte filed and argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, A.B.C. Ozioko.

Other defendants in the suit are, lawyer, Mr Donald Chidi Amangbo and Mez Group Limited.

The EFCC in a motion Ex-parte marked FHC/L/CS/811/18, sought for an interim order of the court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the assets and properties named and described in the schedule to the application which properties and assets are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

The EFCC in the affidavit is also seeking an order authorising the commission to appoint a competent person (s) or firm to manage the assets named and described in the scheduled to the application.

The EFCC also asked the court for an order directing the applicant to notify the person(s) in whose possession the properties sought to be forfeited to appear before the court and show cause within 14 days why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

After listening to submission by counsel to EFCC, Justice Kweuwumi granted the application for interim forfeiture of the property to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The judge further ruled that the order must be published in a national newspaper for anybody who have interest in the property sought to be forfeited to come forward and show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Justice Kweuwumi has fixed July 24, to continue the trial

NaijaLive Tv

We’ll Assist FMBN to realise its mandate – AGF

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris has pledged the support of the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to assisting the nation’s foremost mortgage finance institution, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, (FMBN) to realise its mandate.

Mr. Idris gave this assurance recently when he received in audience the management team of the bank at the Treasury house in Abuja led by the Managing Director/ Chief Executive, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa.

The nation’s treasury boss, described as gratifying the recent efforts of the bank to deploy ICT in managing its operations especially with regards to its contribution to the National Housing Fund (NHF) which are contributed by public servants across the nation.

“Leveraging on our experiences in the implementation of the nation’s public finance reforms, which has been largely ICT driven and which has been widely acclaimed as successful, we will be ready to provide the needed support and guide in helping you achieve this all important step, which I believe will bring renewed confidence to your customers and contributors” the AGF emphasized.

He further explained that the IPPIS platform on which the payment are carried out is constantly being improved to meet all the staff needs as it captures details of deductions and contributions made on the salary of staff, assuring that the Office will do all it can to assist the mortgage bank ensure transparency in handling the NHF, which is 2.5% of the basic salary of contributors.

“The synergy that has existed between us would be deepened for the mutual benefit in our organisation” the AGF maintained.

Earlier, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the FMBN, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa expressed his appreciation to the Account-General of the Federation for what he described as “the smooth operation” of the Treasury Single Account and other reforms being implemented by the Treasury since Mr. Ahmed Idris assumed the saddle of leadership at the Treasury.

He called for more collaboration with the FMBN to enable them succeeds in delivering their mandate.

Sundiatapost

‘Private Sector Participation, Solution To Housing, Infrastructure Challenges’

Chairman, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Mr Olayinka Omotosho has called on the Federal Government to provide the enabling environment for active participation of the private sector in housing and infrastructure delivery.

Omotosho made the call last Monday in Lagos while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of “Construction Summit 2018’’ organised by the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos.

He said the housing and infrastructure problems persisted in Nigeria because there had not been active participation of the private sector.

Omotosho said that government should allow the private sector to drive the housing construction sector for maximum provisions that would curb the nation housing and infrastructure deficit.

According to him, all government needs do is to provide the enabling environment and other necessities that will aid operation of the private operators.

“There are thousands of houses built in major cities of the country they are not affordable to many Nigerians because they are built by profit-oriented private investors.

“Government alone cannot provide the needed houses/infrastructure for the country. It needs full participation of the private sector operators, through a well-programmed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme.

“This implies leaving housing and infrastructure delivery in the hands of the private sector operators, while government provides the necessary conducive environment,’’ Omotosho said.

Omotosho expressed optimism that the active participation of the private sector in housing/infrastructure delivery would have great impact on the country infrastructure situation.

He noted that for the PPP programme to have positive impact in addressing the nation infrastructure needs, government also needed to go beyond provision of land and policy frameworks.

According to him, government needs to grant incentives to private sector developers.

“Examples of such incentives are import duty waivers on building materials, provision of infrastructure and credit facilities through effective mortgage system and tax relief, among others.

He added that introduction of realistic building regulations and the review of restrictive legislation, such as the Land Use Act of 1978, were also some of the factors that could guarantee conducive atmosphere for private sector operation.

The Tide

Delta govt to build 11,500 housing units for residents

Delta state government has entered into partnership with several key players in the housing industry to provide over 11, 500 housing units to Deltans.

Housing commissioner, Arch. Joseph Ajiri Ogeh who disclosed this during a media briefing in Asaba, listed the major players to include LARFARGE (Green house) which is to provide ten thousand housing unit.

Others include Shelter Afrique and the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund for 1,000 and 650 housing units, respectively, the commissioner said.

Other achievements of his ministry, he said, include the execution/ renovation and completion of 154 3-bedroom and four bungalows at N2.9billion, renovation of government quarters for N500million, Head of Service Complex for N577million, and office building for DSIEC for N244.3 million.

Others are remodelling/rehabilitation of governor’s lodge Abuja for N244.2milliom, development of new central secretariat complex Asaba for N13.6b.

Ogeh the construction of new secretariat complex was awarded to North China Nigeria Limited and is expected to be completed in the next two years.

When completed, the complex will house 28 agencies (MDAs). The commissioner said this will help the state government to drastically reduce rent paid for offices.

Alphonsus Agborh

 

Nigerian Low-Cost Mortgage Lender Set for $1.4 Billion Boost

Nigeria’s government plans to inject 500 billion naira ($1.4 billion) into its low-cost mortgage lender over the next five years in an effort to spur home ownership that has failed to take off in Africa’s most-populous nation.

Faced with a housing deficit of 17 million units, Nigeria is seeking to improve access to home loans in an economy that vies with South Africa as the continent’s biggest. A lack of proper land deeds, poverty and record high interest rates means there are only an estimated 50,000 registered mortgages, of which state-owned Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria accounts for 18,200, according to Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Musa Dangiwa.

The lender is seeking to boost its capital from 5 billion naira at a rate of 100 billion naira a year, he said in an interview on June 21 in the capital, Abuja. FMBN is expecting proposals on its recapitalization, as well as a reorganization of its business, to be approved by all arms of government by the end of 2018, Dangiwa said.

The company’s current capital base is “grossly inadequate,” he said. “That’s why we’re in the process of ensuring that the capital base be increased.”

Armed with the extra cash, the lender can go from the 2,500 new mortgages it plans to sign up this year to 100,000 over the next two years, Dangiwa said. The extra capital will also encourage other investors to provide additional funding, he said.

In August, the FMBN will flag off a 1,500 housing project it is providing funding for under a new “rent-to-own” program that Dangiwa says will help creating more mortgages and access to housing.

In South Africa, the continent’s most-industrialized economy with a population of about 55 million, mortgages account for almost 30 percent of total credit, the largest component of banks’ assets, which amounted to about 5.14 trillion rand ($382 billion) at the end of January, according to central bank data. Nigeria has a population of about 200 million.

Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Co., the nation’s state-backed mortgage guarantor, which provides loans to banks, plans to issue 11 billion naira worth of 15-year bonds through multiple sales as part of a five-year 440 billion-naira program, NMRC Chief Executive Officer Charles Inyangete said in a March interview.

Elisha Bala-Gbogbo

Mpape land owners threaten court action over reallocations

Land owners at Mpape 1 Annex in Abuja have threatened action against the Federal Capital Territory Administration over what they call ‘unlawful re-allocation’ of land allocated to them in Mpape District.

In a statement by their counsel, I.M. Gadzama of Silver Shield Chambers, the property owners claim that the FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello had reallocated their lands to mainly members of the National Assembly without prior notification.

“Our clients are the bonafide title owners of the properties situated and lying at Mpape 1 Annex with registered title documents and the properties are at various levels of development duly approved by the minister’s office since 2003.

“Sixteen years thereafter the present minister of FCT in connivance with the National Assembly members and others redesigned substantial part of the Mpape District as Maitama II comprising originally of 1,300 plots into 2,300 plots of same and now reallocated same to themselves,” the statement said.

The statement said the beneficiaries of the ‘unlawful’ allocations were already selling the plots to general public “causing chaos between existing allottees and the subsequent purchasers.”

The property owners rejected reallocation of plots and have called for reversal by the FCTA saying “treat this as our client’s notice of intention to sue in the event of refusal, neglect or any inadvertence.”

Malikatu Umar Shuaibu

FCTA to recover ministries’ lands allocated for other purposes

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has charged ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that have lands allocated to them under the FCT Master-plan to come forward to regularise them by processing their titles.

The minister said this is one way of safeguarding such titles against encroachment or inadvertent reallocation.

Bello made this call when his Ministry of Interior counterpart, retired Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

The minister disclosed that the FCT Administration was working to recover all lands in Abuja that were originally designated for ministries and agencies in the Abuja master-plan but were unwittingly allocated for other purposes.

“With respect to allocation of land to Ministry of Interior and many other ministries that are not housed in the main secretariat, we are working at the areas at the Ahmadu Bello and Shehu Shagari ways, especially trying to identify lands within the designated areas that were originally meant for ministries but over the years were inadvertently allocated for other purposes.

“Wherever it is practical and possible, we will try to recover these lands,” Bello said.

The FCT minister also indicated that the FCT Administration was also trying to revive the project for the expansion of the Federal Secretariat to provide befitting office accommodation for other ministries that are not housed in the main secretariat.

Earlier in his remark, the Minister of Interior, retired Lt-Gen. Dambazau urged the FCT Administration to have a closer look at the small markets that are springing up around the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the FCT, saying some of the markets have been turned to platforms for sale of dangerous and prohibited drugs.

Speaking on the Old Secretariat building housing the Ministry of Interior, Dambazau said, the ministry was looking for a befitting area to erect a new Secretariat that would reflect its image and importance.

The ministry, he said, warehouses the five major paramilitary organisations charged with the responsibility of maintaining the internal security and public safety in the country.

He expressed hope that they would be properly accommodated to perform their functions effectively.

Malikatu Umar Shuaibu

Obaseki’s land, other reforms, triggered our interest in Edo State – Chinese Ambassador, MIXTA Africa Boss

The growing confidence among investors to set up in Edo State, has been attributed to the ongoing reforms in the various aspects of the Edo State economy, initiated by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Investors say the positive disposition of the Obaseki administration to a market-driven economy and the institutionalisation of the reforms, namely; the Private Property Protection Law that has eliminated man-made encumbrances to access land, amongst other initiatives, attracted them to the state.

The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, who was in Benin City recently, said that the feedbacks from Chinese companies that have set up in the state, indicate that the state is on an aggressive drive for investment and is committed to fine tuning her laws and policies where necessary, to achieve her goal.

The Chinese Ambassador assured of his home country’s commitment to boost her relationship with Edo State and extend the friendship to the education sector. Partners of the Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA) in the development of the 1,800 Emotan Garden in Edo State, MIXTA Africa, said that the major elements for big ticket investment in housing development are present in Edo State at the moment.

The Managing Director, MIXTA Africa, Mr. Kola Ashiru-Balogun, said they decided to partner with Edo State “because of the Obaseki led- administration’s drive for developmental projects.” Ashiru-Balogun added, “We recognise the market and we are ready to offer affordable housing. The governor has said that we should use the project to create jobs.”

Edo State Government sealed a deal for the construction of 1,800-unit Emotan housing project in Benin City with MIXTA Africa, which marks the first housing project by the state government in 16 years. The gound-breaking ceremony for the affordable housing was performed by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Edo State is home to ceramic, steel and other companies owned by Chinese investors. The state’s ambitious projects such as the Benin River Port in Gelegele, an auto assembly plant and the Benin Industrial Park are being driven by the Chinese.

Vanguard

FISH: FG returns to drawing board over high prices by developers

The Federal Government says is returning to the drawing board to address some of the challenges that had been bedeviling the implementation of the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Scheme (FISH).

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

She said that the Government had realised that the cost of houses in the FISH Programme originally planned to go through developers was too exorbitant for civil servants hence the need to return to the drawing board.

Oyo-Ita said that the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) was currently partnering relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to reduce cost of infrastructure and land.

She added that this partnership would further reduce the cost of the houses and make it affordable for civil servants, instead of the initial price placed on it by the developers.

She said that the major challenge FISH was encountering was that the concept of the programme was not captured by relevant MDAs in their various budgets, but has been addressed in 2018 budget.

“ Now we have to go back to the drawing board, we are now working with our infrastructure housing MDAs.

“To see how we can bring down the prices to a level that civil servants can actually take advantage of.

“The private developers will no longer have to bear the cost of the land and infrastructure because these are two things that cause high cost of houses,

“We will now take advantage of the developers input by way of skills and technical knowhow, while the government agencies provide the land and infrastructure.’’

The head of service expressed her gratitude to the FCT Minister, Minister of Power, Works and Housing for providing a district for the FISH programme.

She also thanked the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, for providing infrastructure for FISH in the 2018 budget, and the Minister of Finance for their contributions towards the programme.

Kate Obande-Okewu

 

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