MAN: Lagos 2018 land use law will trigger increase in prices of goods, services

Frank Jacobs, MAN President

President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs in this interview with FEMI ADEKOYA, explains the implications of the revised land use charge for consumers and operators in the real sector.

What is Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN’s) position on the recently revised Land Use Charge law?

WE are saying that there should be adequate consultations with critical stakeholders before coming out with such an exorbitant charge because there wasn’t a proper consultation, and that is why people are kicking against it.

The amount that is imposed is too high. You don’t just review a rate by 200 per cent or even 500 per cent. We expect that there should be adequate consultation to enable them to be able to arrive at a rate that is acceptable to most people.

This is not what happened, and that is why we are kicking against it.

The state government has said it is open to dialogue on the issue. Isn’t that a move to resolving this issue?

Isn’t that what should have been done in the first place? I think they have realised their mistake, and are now trying to do all they are doing as damage control. There was no consulting with the people. With better consulting, they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing right now.

What effect does this increase have on the operators in the manufacturing sector?

The increased rate itself has an effect on everybody. If it is not reversed, it is going to reflect on the products of the manufacturers and for the local markets of course, that means the prices would go up and for export, it will depress our export because we won’t be able to compete globally.

The increase will reflect in the increased cost of production. These are things that will happen if they fail to reverse or reduce the increase to a manageable level.

Any other recommendations on how the state government can address this?

Our recommendation to government is that when you come out with a law that is not popular, go back to the drawing board. This means the government has to go back and do the proper consultation, carry out a public hearing on the bill, get the people’s commitment and support on the bill.

If they had come up with a 30 per cent or 100 per cent increase with justifications, there won’t be an agitation and outcry. They should go back and do it right.

I know that they have come up with a N1 trillion budget, but again, people should produce a budget in line with what their income allows. You don’t project something and kill the people paying the taxes. It is unfair.

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