- The Lagos state government has revealed that some land owners avoid the land use charge by converting their houses into religious buildings
- Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, the commissioner for home affairs, said that the government frowns at such act
- The commissioner maintained that no land owner can escape the long arm of the law
The Lagos state government on Monday, April 24, condemned the conversion of residential buildings into religious centres by some landlords.
Habib Aruna, the chief press secretary to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said in a statement written by Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, the commissioner for home affairs, that the government warned land owners to refrain from the act, Channels TV reports.
The commissioner said the culprits were trying to avoid paying the Land Use Charge, stressing that it was important for all to operate within the confines of the law.
Abdullateef said: “Do not convert your residential premises to religious premises. Many do that for the sake of being protected from paying their Land Use Charge and that will not be tolerated. Whatever we want to do, let us keep ourselves within the ambit of the law.”
Abdullateef said although government would not demolish the structures, all residential premises are subject to the charge.
He remarked: “Always know that as soon as your property is declared a residential block, you will pay Land Use Charge.”
He revealed further that through the ministries of home affairs and physical planning, the government had started making efforts to address the conversion of residential buildings to religious centres.
Abdullateef said: “It is a violation of the state regulations for residential buildings to be converted into religious centres. When a building is approved for a purpose, it is an aberration for you to now convert it into something else without the approval of the Ministry of Physical Planning.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that Adesina Ogunlana, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch, had said that the charge introduced by the state government will cause serious inflation in all other sectors of the economy if allowed to stay.
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