The economic recession ravaging the country may have taken a huge toll on the property market in Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve centre.
The situation has reportedly taken a deep cut in one of the major sources of revenue for the Lagos State government-land. Transactions are said to have dropped to as low as 30 per cent, the lowest recorded in a long time.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro, in a chat with The Nation in his Alausa, Ikeja home, lamented that despite the reduction in land charges, there has been decline for the application for Governor’s Consent, which hitherto, was the cash-cow of the Bureau.
This is more worrisome, considering that last year the state government slashed various rates applicable to land transactions from 13 per cent to three per cent. This accounts for the reduction in charges for consent fees, reduced from six per cent to 1.5 per cent. Capital gains tax, previously two per cent, was reduced to 0.5 per cent.
Agoro said: “People are not really transacting so much as a result of the recession, leading to considerable low rate of revenue. This is why the Bureau has embarked on series of changes to speed up the process of getting governor’s consent in order to attract more people and arrest the decline.”
He said the Lands’ Bureau reinforced the operation of land registry by creating a quality control unit to block all noticeable leakages in the past, and also deployed an electronic system to take care of double allocations as well as shortening the process for optimum productivity.
This action, he explained, was borne out of the need to ensure that fake Certificate-of-Occupancy (Cof O) were not registered, adding that the bureau was committed to the project by creating an enabling environment where the land registry would be secured to vet and scrutinise all applications.
Agoro said the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was processing backlogs of allocations, adding that over 5, 000 C of Os had so far been issued by the governor. The Nation