Lagos State, Nigeria’s most populous state, can generate more revenue from land use charge, according to a recent article by a public policy analyst.
The author of the article, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Lagos has more landed properties and built assets than any other state in Nigeria, but its revenue from land use charge is still abysmally low.
“One example of revenue gap that could transit Lagos from being the most indebted state in the federation to a more competitive financial hub exemplifying the exceptional economy of California in the United States is the revenue receipts from Land Use Charge,” the author wrote.
The author also pointed out that the Lagos Land Use Charge Law of 2018 gives the governor the power to charge penal rent for breaching any covenant or condition attached to a certificate of occupancy, such as failing to effect improvements on the land or alienating the land or any part thereof without the consent of the governor.
The author, however, said that successive administrations in Lagos State have failed to enforce the law, which has encouraged land speculators to drive the price of land and buildings beyond the reach of buyers, developers, and other players in the productive sector.
The author called on the Lagos State government to follow the lead of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and revoke undeveloped parcels of land. The author also urged the Lagos State government to enforce the Lagos Land Use Charge Law of 2018 more strictly, in order to generate more revenue from land use charge.
“Wike having initiated the process of putting these racketeering in abeyance in Abuja, we hope Lagos state would be dutiful enough to follow suit otherwise Lagosians would be left to believe that land administration in Lagos is an intractable conundrum left at the mercy of racketeers and disruptive spectators,” the author concluded.
The author’s call for reform in the way that land use is managed in Lagos State is timely and relevant. Lagos is a rapidly growing city, and the need for land is increasing. By generating more revenue from land use charge, the Lagos State government can invest in infrastructure and other public goods and services that are essential for the well-being of its residents.