LAND USE CHARGE: LASG TAKES AWARENESS CAMPAIGN TO SENATORIAL DISTRICTS
As part of efforts to address challenges associated with unresolved Land Use Charge complaints by property owners or their representatives, the Land Use Charge Assessment Appeal Tribunal has taken its sensitisation programmes to each of the three Senatorial Districts in Lagos State.
Speaking at the commencement of the programme at Ikorodu Local Government Secretariat under the East Senatorial District, the Registrar of Land Use Charge Assessment Tribunal (LUCAAT), Mrs. Olayinka Oyegunle, stated that the tribunal was established in August 2011 pursuant to Section 12 of the Land Use Charge Law, 2001 (Now Section 16 of the Land Use Charge Law, 2020).
She explained that the tribunal was created by the Lagos State Government to serve as a platform for aggrieved property owners to resolve grievances, in respect of Land Use Charge assessments and other related matters, through an appeal or mediation process.
Mrs. Oyegunle said: “One of the laudable Land Use Charge reforms of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s administration is the introduction of mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms in the Land Use Charge Law, 2020, as means of resolving disputes at the tribunal. This has resulted in more seamless and expedited resolutions in line with international best practices”.
She urged property owners to take advantage of Mr. Governor’s gesture of the 15% early payment discount on the Land Use Charge demand notice as well as the complaint mechanisms put in place, adding that the tribunal has functional complaint centres clearly indicated on the back page of the Land Use Charge Demand Notices.
The Registrar pointed out that property owners have a right to present grievances about their assessments and other related matters before the tribunal for a resolution, stressing that landlords are eligible for any of the various concessions or reliefs available.
Oyegunle also informed that complaints may be resolved through Administrative Resolution, Mediation/other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or by lodging a formal appeal at the Tribunal.
“Ignoring the land use charge demand notice or refusal to pay will not clear the liability incurred. Instead, it would result in accumulated charges and penalties that are carried forward and added to subsequent years’ charges with attendant consequences”, she explained.
The sensitisation programme, held at different times in the three Senatorial Districts in the State, attracted participants and stakeholders from the Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas under each district.