From the President's Desk


POSITION PAPER PRESENTED BY THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTION OF ESTATE SURVEYORS AND VALUERS ON LAND USE CHARGE LAWS


The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers is an Association of Professional Estate Surveyors and Valuers enabled by Decree 24 of 1975, now CAP E13, LFN 2007, which established the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria.
By the provisions of the above enabling law, the Institution has a responsibility to offer professional advice to both Government and the General Public on issues of development and Management of Land resources. It is in line with this responsibility we hereby make the following observations:

1. We have noted that various State Governments have enacted laws on Land Use Charge in their States.
2. These Laws so enacted did not reflect contributions of major stake- holders like our professional body (The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers) before their enactment.
3. All the Land Use Charge Laws have erroneously consolidated various independent taxes contrary to the constitutional provisions, including:
i.) The 1999 Constitution, Section 7, Sub 14(1) which states that one of the functions of Local Government Councils is the assessment and collection of Tenement Rate from privately owned houses or tenements as maybe prescribed by the State House of Assembly.
ii.) Section 10(b) of Land Use Act of 1978 provides for payment of Ground Rent, only on properties with Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) whereas the Land Use Charge Law is applied on all lands whether certificated or not.
iii.) Neighbourhood Charges (Development Levy) ought to be one-off payment on properties located where development projects have been executed, but by its inclusion in Land Use Charge it has become an annual payment.
4. The Laws did not recognize the only professional body (The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers) charged with the responsibility for determining value of Landed Properties and other assets.
5. The basis for determination of the Land Use Charge on capital value for an annual charge is faulty and unrealistic.
6. The Use of arbitrary formula as provided in the Land Use Charge Laws is unprofessional and unrealistic in view of the fact that it did not recognize value differentials with respect to location and land uses.
7. The Land Use Charge Laws have domiciled the administration of Land Use Charges on unrelated professional department which ought not to be.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1. We encourage Federal and State Governments to develop property taxes and levies as a veritable source of revenue capable of providing the necessary funds for developmental projects.
2. We call on Government at all levels to give prominence to appropriate professionals in the formulation of policies that affect the generality of the citizens.
3. We call on Government to review the existing laws and ensure that such laws should recognize the differences between Tenement Rate, Ground Rent and Development Levy because they have different basis of assessment.
4. We recommend that basis for determination of property rate/taxes should be Annual Values of such properties as determined by Registered Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
5. We call on Government to set up proper Institutional framework at various levels of Government with appropriate professionals (Estate Surveyors and Valuers) for the administration of all Landed Property-Based Taxes and Rates. This will include establishment of Land Use Charge offices in all Local Governments under the coordination of State Director of Lands.

CONCLUSION
The attention being received currently by Land-Based Taxes and Rates as alternative source of revenue is laudable. However, we suggest the process of assessment and collection of Land Use Charge should be streamlined in line with extant laws in Nigeria to make the process more effective and efficient. Please accept the assurances of my highest esteem and kind regards.


ESV. Dr. B. J. Patunola - Ajayi (FNIVS, FRICS, Thd)
President


 

 

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