LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
November 26, 2007
EXECUTIVE ORDER (No 5 of 2007)
TO: ALL EXECUTIVE SECRETARIES (LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS & LOCAL COUNCIL DEVT. AREAS)
ILLEGAL TAXES, LEVIES, FINES AND OTHER CHARGES BEING DEMANDED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
The State Government has been inundated with complaints from corporate bodies, business operators and private individuals across the State who are being forced to pay taxes, levies, fines and other charges not authorized by any law. These complaints are mainly against local government officials and their agents and touts.
In particular, Telecommunications and GSM operators in Lagos State are being harassed by Council officials, especially in Epe and Ikorodu, for 'Construction Permit' fees and some other charges for stacking building materials on site. Many Councils are also imposing exorbitant fees for 'Environmental Protection Permit', 'Food Handler's Test' and 'Mobile Advertisement' on branded vehicles. These are in addition to several other illegal charges being imposed by Council officials on a daily basis.
As you well know, these practices cannot in any way be justified in a constitutional democracy where all activities of government at all levels are expected to be guided by law. This is more so as many of activities in question are already being regulated by designated State agencies. For instance, matters relating town planning, building permits and physical development are under the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
The particular aspect of base station construction is being handled by the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance & Regulatory Authority (LASIMRA) while environmental protection is the responsibility of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEMA).
This duplication of supervisory functions and imposition of illegal charges portray the State in very bad light and complicate the job of properly designated authorities. Thy also discourage legitimate businesses and contribute to capital flight and unemployment.
By the authority invested in me as Governor under and by virtue of the 1999 Constitution, I hereby reaffirm that all Executive Secretaries put a stop to the collection of unauthorised taxes, levies, fines and other charges in their respective jurisdictions. Henceforth, any report of illegal extortion shall be fully investigated and Executive Secretaries shall be held strictly accountable for the actions of their officials and agents.
Executive Secretaries are also to monitor activities of touts in their respective areas and alert law enforcement authorities accordingly.
This order is intended to improve the internal management of the State Government and is not intended to, and does not create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against Lagos State, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees or any other person.
Issued this 27th day of August 2007
BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA, SAN
EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR, LAGOS STATE