By Oluwatope Lawanson
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, has restated its resolve to embark on another round of protest on March 29 over the reviewed Lagos Land Use Charge.
The NBA Chairman, Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, said at a media briefing on Wednesday that in spite of the reduction of the rates and levies under the Land Use Charge the protest would go on as planned.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to arrive in Lagos tomorrow (Thursday, March 29) on a two-day state visit.
Lagos State Government has declared tomorrow (March 29) as public holiday in honour of the president.
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode had earlier reduced the levies by 50 per cent following a protest that greeted the Land Use Charge, but the reduction did not go down well with some stakeholders who insisted the LUC returns to status quo.
A public hearing on the Lagos Land Use Charge organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly on March 27 had turned rowdy as Ogunlana led lawyers in a walk-out, insisting that the notice to submit their memorandum was too short.
Ogunlana said: “The protest is far from being over as lawyers have declared their intention to embark on another round of street protests tomorrow (March 29).”
The NBA chairman said that the protest was a response to “failure” of the state government and State House of Assembly to meet their demands.
He, however, warned some members of the public who, he said, were peddling negative rumours against the NBA to desist from it.
The NBA had on March 13 staged a protest tagged, ” Walk The Talk” to reject the 50 percent reduction of the levies.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), civil society bodies and professionals had in solidarity joined the protest.
Others are the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Joint Action Front (JAF) Medical Doctors Association the Human and Environmental Agenda (HEDA)
The protest was meant to kick against the Land Use Charge Law 2018, excessive litigation cost, borehole tax and car registration tax.
Ogunlana said : “The reduction is a sham and a calculated ploy to hoodwink the people of Lagos State.”
He also said the NBA objected to the House of Assembly’s setting up of a committee to review the Land Use Charge 2018.
“Come Thursday, March 29, the “Walk the Talk” protest must go on irrespective of the public holiday declared by the Lagos State Government in anticipation for the Presidential visit.”