The Lagos State Government on Monday appealed to property owners to desist from converting their residential buildings to religious premises in a bid to avoid payment of the harmonised Land Use Charge.
Dr AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef, the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, gave the warning at the annual ministerial briefing as part of activities marking the third anniversary of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode in office.
“Do not convert your residential premises to religious premises.
“Many do that for the sake of being protected from paying their Land Use Charge; that we will not be tolerated.
“Whatever we want to do, let us keep ourselves within the ambit of the law,” AbdulLateef said.
He said that the government had excluded religious institutions from payment of the land use charge.
The commissioner urged residents to report religious bodies that caused noise pollution in their environs so that they could be engaged regularly by the ministry.
He urged all religious institutions to get registered with the government as it would be at no cost to them.
He said that over 13,000 religious institutions had so far been registered across the state.
According to him, the strategy of the ministry is to engage religious bodies to be registered with the state government with a view to protecting their interests in state policies.
AbdulLateef also said that the government had saved N4.5 billion that would have been spent on sponsoring pilgrimages in the last 3 years.
“This has been diverted into the construction of roads and other amenities to make life easier for residents,’’ he said.
Abdulalteef said that the government had instead provided welfare facilities to ensure that pilgrims had a good time during their pilgrimage.
The commissioner said that the government would not rest on its oar, but strives harder for peace and progress of the state.
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