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Editorial
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Land use Act, which the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode recently signed into law has continued to attract criticisms. Stakeholders have described the controversial policy, which repealed the Land Use Charge Law 2001, as grossly insensitive to businesses and landowners. Individuals, groups and the Organised Private Sector, OPS among many others, have vowed to challenge its implementation.

Land use Act, which the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode recently signed into law has continued to attract criticisms. Stakeholders have described the controversial policy, which repealed the Land Use Charge Law 2001, as grossly insensitive to businesses and landowners. Individuals, groups and the Organised Private Sector, OPS among many others, have vowed to challenge its implementation.


This is understandable, given that Ambode and the state House of Assembly did not consult widely before introducing the law. The standpoint of these opponents is well in line with the outcry of helpless residents. Nigeria Moment is convinced that the implementation of the new law would have harsh multiplier effects on residents of Africa's most populous city.
Taking into consideration the prevailing economic situation in the country, we implore the governor to withdraw the law, which carries over 200 per cent increase from the previous rate. This increment will hurt businesses and stagnate economic growth. It is equally acknowledged that residents should pay their fair share of taxes to support government, but we are opposed to an arbitrary increment that does not carry a human face. The Ambode administration must be sensitive to the plight of residents who are still feeling the pains of the recession.
Outside the land use charge, there is also the loathsome policy on refuse disposal, which has led to heaps of wastes across the state. This followed the governor's attempt to handover the state's environmental matters to a private firm, Visionscape, under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative. The state assembly in its opposition to the plan had urged the governor to suspend the concession, until it all grey areas surrounding the contract are resolved. It is the opinion of Nigeria Moment that the lawmakers, who had also summoned some government officials to explain the reason behind the contract and their bold directive to the governor not to finance the Visionscape project with state funds was also well intentioned.
It is a shame that Lagos State is reverting to the era when the streets were overtaken by refuse. We urge a quick review of these policies in the interest of the residents, who are exposed to the environmental and health hazards that are associated with these mounting wastes.
It is of great concern that while markets across the state generate heaps of refuse every Thursday during the weekly environmental sanitation, the controversies surrounding the planned environmental policy and the existing ban of cart pushers have complicated the situation. If Ambode truly cares about the welfare of Lagos residents then he must listen to the voice of reason and reverse these anti-people policies. The governor, whose bold infrastructural projects have endeared him to many residents, should not allow these unpopular policies to confirm insinuations that he may have vested interests in the land use charge and environmental initiative.

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