Following the announcement by the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Environment that the State will commence collection of an annual Public Utility Levy, Mainlanders and other Lagosians have expressed their dissatisfaction on the move by the government.
According to the State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare who spoke during the 2017 Press Briefing of the State which held yesterday, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the government has introduced an Environmental Trust Fund which “will provide payment of fees to service providers, concessionaries and contractors under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative.”
Speaking on the new utility levy, he said “a Public Utility Levy (PUL) will be paid annually on all properties in the State into an Environmental Trust Fund.”
He added that “a Waste Service Company has been concessioned to provide waste collection services to residential premises in the State.”
The PUL under the Environmental Trust Fund was established as a funding mechanism to aid in the tackling of crucial environmental issues and the implementation of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative.
Meanwhile, Mainlanders have taken to various social media platforms to express their displeasure on the new move by the government. The process was condemned as multiple taxation by the Lagos residents who already have various levies such as Land Use Charge, Electricity Bill, Water Bill, among others they pay to the government coffers on a regular basis.
According to a Twitter user, Deji Dokun, “First drilling boreholes would be an offense, now Public Utility Levy. What does that even mean?”
Another user, S Adesanwo asked rhetorically that “Pls after this, would I still pay a separate fee for waste disposal, water, still generate power and hire security men??”
To Olusegun Popoola, “this is not a good idea. It is completely counter intuitive.” He added that “we are watching this space. These multiple taxes are definitely not the way to go. What does Public Utility Levy mean?”
Black Beard sees the new move as “one burden too many after paying for land use charge, LAWMA, PHCN, water bill, etc, what are the elites paying for in Lagos?”
However, a user, Nigeria Reports opines that “you are doing great works. Do not introduce another #TAX on properties. Ikoyi, VI, Gbagada, GRA are yet to pay LAND USE CHARGES, make them pay.”
He added that “this is major problem of Nigeria, when the economy is down, government officials don’t know that they ought not to introduce or increase tax. Reduce the arm- robber salaries of political office holders and see if the required excess fund won’t show up. Instead you still want to take.”
To Seyi Ajayi, “This can not pass if we,really engage our legislators. They will do that because they know we shall absorb it. In Nigeria government puts rope on the citizen’s neck not to eat while they finish the food.”