The Lagos State Government on Tuesday debunked rumours of increase in the cost of processing motor vehicle particulars and application for number plates, saying the rates remain unchanged across the state.
The response came as activists led by the Nigerian Bar Association and the Human and Environmental Development Agency (HEDA) staged a demonstration along major streets in Ikeja to protest the recently Land Use Charge law.
The protesters, who carried various placards directed at the state governor, vowed to continue the mass action until the law was reviewed.
The Lagos State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan said in a statement on Tuesday that the clarification on the licence plates became necessary in response to enquiries by members of the public who are genuinely concerned about the rumours of increases in charges relating to the motor vehicle administration.
Bamigbetan said anyone with evidence of any increase in motor registration rates from any of the official Centres managed by the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Authority (MVAA) should report to the agency or the Ministry of Transportation.
According to him, “Although, the cost of maintaining the roads and expanding infrastructures which ease the operations of vehicles is enormous, the Lagos State Government shall continue to bear the burden of keeping the roads motorable and safe for all users.”
He said some mischief makers were desperately exploiting the challenges posed to the government by the new Land Use Charge Law which seeks to raise more money for the provision of public infrastructures for the benefit of all, to misinform the public.
State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode had also debunked insinuations that many tax items were reviewed upward, saying that the claim was not true.
Speaking to journalists after leading a symbolic walk against sexual and domestic violence on Monday in Alausa, Governor Ambode said his administration was very sensitive to the people, and would not go all out to deliberately overburden them.
“I want Lagosians to understand one particular issue. We have over 300 tax items for which nothing has been touched apart from this Land Use Charge and maybe one other. But again, we are a very responsive government; we are very sensitive because at the end of the day, governance is about the people; it is about what they want.
“Yes, people might like that infrastructural development is on the progressive chart in Lagos but also it comes with a price. But notwithstanding in the middle of all that, a responsive government will listen to the yearnings of her people.
“At the end of the day, it’s all for the development of Lagos. What this government is interested in is to create a trajectory and framework of permanent prosperity for Lagos. It is not about today, it is about the future and if there is going to be permanent prosperity in Lagos, some things have to be done but I can tell you based on the dialogue and the things we have been receiving on the Land Use Charge, obviously we would respond positively to those yearnings,” Governor Ambode said.