14th July, 2010
The 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas in Lagos State, South West Nigeria, have been barred from mounting roadblocks and other barriers for the purpose of collecting fees and levies from residents.
The state government has also made it mandatory for revenue officials in all the local councils to always put on their identity tags and display the complete list of levies payable by tax payers before demanding the payment of any fee or levy.
This was made known in Lagos on Monday when a bill for an act to prescribe the fees and levies to be collected by the local council areas was signed into law by the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Before the governor gave assent to the bill, the Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Bureau, Mr. Abdul-Lateef Abdul-Hakeem, said the bill would stop arbitrary collection of levies and multiple collection of fees by local councils.
Spelling out the new law, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Revenue and Taxation, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said the law, among others, affected the rates to be collected on licensing for sale of liquor, motor parks levy, domestic animals licence fee, motor vehicle fee and mobile radio/television licence fee.
He, however, warned that Section 10 of the law prohibits the councils from mounting roadblocks to collect such levies.
â€œThe levies are those listed in the schedule and whatever is not in the schedule will be termed illegal. Anyone caught collecting illegal fees will face the full wrath of the law and any LGA or LCDA or its agents caught collecting fees higher than the stipulated amount would be deemed to have committed illegality,â€ Ipaye warned, stating that the penalty for defaulting LGAs or LCDAs could be as high as N500,000.