Lagos State Government has unveiled plans to open new towns in Ito-Omu and its adjoining communities in Ibeju-Lekki Local Council Development Area (LCDA), to fast track development.
The Acting General Manager of New Towns Development Authority (NTDA), Olakunle Aboyeji, speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting with residents of the communities, including representatives of the monarchs, said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had approved the development of new towns within Ito-Omu and its adjoining communities, to raise the status of the area.
He added that the meeting was necessary to inform stakeholders of government’s presence in their communities and seek their cooperation for the success of the project.
Aboyeji told the residents that the government meant well for them.
The Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Mr. Bode Agoro, allayed the residents’ fear of being exploited by the government.
He assured them of government’s cooperation and partnership in the development of the area.
The Surveyor-General, Olutomi Sangowawa, said: “This is going to be the beginning of new things to happen in the communities.”
He said the mistakes of the past while creating new towns would be avoided if the residents worked with the government officials to bring in the needed expertise for the development.
The representative of the Oba of Ito-Omu, Akogun Fatai Kosoko, said the exercise was long overdue “as only Ito-Omu and its adjoining communities that are yet to be developed and connected to the main network of roads coming into Ibeju Lekki and Epe axis.”
Let’s face it: No one likes paying tax and this is exactly why taxes are one of the last things on the to do list of most businesses until they are visited by tax officials. Before the Finance Bill 2019, every business was mandated to have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) before opening a Bank account, but the bill now includes a requirement for Banks to request for Individual Tax Identification Number which would further expand the tax net considerably, therefore understanding the different types of taxes, rates and available deductions should now be an essential for both individuals and businesses.
Two very important types of tax in Nigeria are Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT) and my emphasis today is the meaning and applicability of these taxes to your business.
Withholding tax is basically an advance and indirect source of taxation deducted at source from the invoices of the tax payer. WHT is not really a distinct tax type and therefore has no legislation of its own. It is only a mechanism for the collection of other taxes. Consequently, its application is provided for in the enabling law of other tax types i.e. Section 81 of the Company Income Tax Act or Section 13 of the Value Added Tax Act. The main purpose of WHT is to capture as much tax payers that may have evaded tax into the tax net and the rate is usually 5%-10% depending on the type of transaction.
WHT is used mainly for transactions involving contract of purchase e.g. When a company or individual supplies goods or services to another company an invoice will usually be issued as evidence of a transaction.
The WHT system in Nigeria is regulated by both Federal and State Inland Revenue Services.
Value Added Tax
VAT is a consumption tax payable on the goods and service consumed by any person whether government agencies, business organizations or individuals. The target of VAT is consumption of goods and services and unless an item is specifically exempted by law, the consumer is liable to the tax.
The standard rate of tax has now been raised to 7.5% of invoice value of goods and services although companies with an annual turnover of N25 million (approx. US$69,000) or less would be exempt from VAT registration and filing obligations.
The VAT system in Nigeria is administered by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). All existing manufacturers, distributors, importers and suppliers of goods and services are required to register for VAT. The prospective VAT payer will obtain and complete VAT registration (and return it to the nearest FIRS Tax Office. A permanent VAT registration number is then issued to the tax payer.
Goods Exempted from VAT include Medical and Pharmaceutical Products; Basic food items; Books and educational materials; Newspapers and magazines; Baby products; Commercial vehicles and their spare parts, and Agricultural equipment and products and veterinary medicine;
Services Exempted from VAT include Medical Services; Services rendered by Community Banks, Peoples Banks and Mortgage Institutions; and Plays and performances conducted by educational institutions as part of learning.
The tax is collected on behalf of the Government by businesses and organizations which have registered with the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) for VAT purposes, and who are now required to make monthly returns to the Government.
To illustrate these type of taxes better we will use an example Nairametrics.
Jideowo Ltd is a supplier of printing and stationery and got a contract to supply stationery to MoMoney Ltd for an invoice value of N100,000. Being a Vatable item, JideOwo Ltd adds a 5% VAT to the contract sum bringing the total amount to N105,000.
Upon receiving this invoice, the accounts department of MoMoney deduct 5% WHT from the invoice and schedule a payment of N100,000 in favor of Jideowo Ltd. They then remit the deducted N5,000 to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and obtain a withholding tax credit note which they should give to authorized representatives of Jideowo Ltd.
Jideowo Ltd upon receiving the payment of N100,000 and Tax credit note of N5,000 will remit a sum of N5,000 to the Federal Inland Revenue as value added tax on the transaction. They will then show the FIRS the WHT credit note of N5,000 which can be used to set-off against future company income taxes.
Break-down of payment (who gets what in cash).
Invoice amount – N105, 000
FIRS (VAT) – N5,000
FIRS (WHT) – N5,000
Jideowo Ltd – N95,000
Tax evasion is a crime that involves an individual or business intentionally avoiding payment of tax. Those caught evading taxes are generally subject to criminal charges and substantial penalties. On the other hand Tax avoidance is the legal usage of the tax regime to one’s own advantage to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal.
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Land can be classified as either free or acquired. A parcel of land is considered free if the government has not indicated any interest whatsoever in that land. Such land is safe to buy because the title on the land can be perfected without issues.
In most cases, such lands will either have a gazette, a C of O or a governor’s consent.
An Excision means basically taking a part from a whole and that part that has been excised will be recorded and documented in the official government gazette of that state. In other words, not having an excision means the land could be seized by the Government anytime without compensating you even if you bought it “Legitimately” from the Baale or the Original dwellers on the land.
Global or General Acquisition
Lands that are under “general acquisition” or “global acquisition” can later be confirmed ‘free’ or ‘committed’ as the case may be.
A land under general acquisition can become free by a process called excision.
There are two types of acquisition:
A parcel of land is said to be under committed acquisition when the government has indicated an intention to use that land for a specific purpose such as provision of amenities.
Such lands belong to the government and can never be available for use by individuals. If you purchase land that is under committed acquisition, it will be impossible for you to perfect your land title and you’ll only be occupying the land until the government comes to kick you out.
The following documents are usually involved when a purchase is made.
1 The purchase receipt
2 The contract of sale and
3 The deed of assignment
4 The survey plan
5 The Building plan for housing investment
6 Any other title document that may apply
WHAT IS LAND TITLE?
Land title may be defined as *the rights or ownership claim a person has over a property. It simply means, for you to claim land title, you must show other people the right you have over that land. E.g the land was willed to you by your late grandfather or you bought the property from another person and he handed over the title documents of the land or there was a dispute on the land and a court judgement awarded you the land as the owner etc.
To determine what title a person has over a property, a prospective buyer must inspect the available documents the seller is relying on to initiate the transaction.
DEED OF CONVEYANCE
Deed of Conveyance or Registered Conveyance was the authentic evidence of ownership until 1978 Land use Act that introduced Certificate of Occupancy.
Deed of Conveyance is old legal document used in transferring the interest of the owner of a landed property interest to the person to another whom it is assigned, the assignee. When ownership is transferred, the new legal document in use now is called deed of assignment.
A freehold is not a title. The remedy is to institute a legal document on the land like getting a Governors Consent, or C of O. (These are binding documents that can stand the test of time and stand in any court of law)
In a situation you have the C of O and survey without Deed of Assignment for a land allocated by state government. Is the documents enough without Deed of Assignment?
Answer: Government schemes mostly doesn’t come with Deed of Assignment. What government gives in this case is Letter of Allocation and through the letter of assessment you obtained from the NTDA you can process your C of O.
Question: Does this mean that “Lands have to at least be excised before it can be sold or transferred to someone else”?
Answer: You become rightful owner of the land once the government release it to you via excision.
Though Governments recognize ancestral land ownership as excision is the right of the indigenous land owners.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued by the Lagos State Government officially leased Lagos land to you, the applicant, for 99 yrs. All lands belong to the Government.
GOVERNMENT BARRED LAND
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KNOW THE DIFFERENCE Between Rectification and Ratification
Don’t be confused. Rectification and Ratification means two separate things but they sound alike. Rectification means to correct a grave error on a document while Ratification means giving formal consent to a contract or agreement thereby making it validly official.
To understand how Rectification of Title to Land differs from Ratification of Title to land, we have to understand what a Land title means so we can comprehend it quite easily.
Is excision as good as obtaining c of o?
Is a person having excision still mandated to obtain c of o?
Answer: After a land has been excised and Gazetted then you can either process your C of O or Governor consent.
Excision does not expire while C of O expire after 99 years. The only advantage C of O has over Excision is that it can be used as collateral for getting loan in the bank
A governor’s consent can only be processed on a land with either Gazette or an Existing Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).
If a person with land with C of O decides to sell his land, the only documents that can give the new buyer or every other subsequent buyer’s the right of occupancy or ownership is a governor’s consent.
The powers of the Governor to consent to such transactions can be found in Section 22 of the Land Use Act of 1978 which states thus ‘It shall not be lawful for the holder of a statutory right of occupancy granted by the governor to alienate his right of occupancy or any part thereof by assignment, mortgage, transfer of possession, sublease or otherwise howsoever without the consent of the Governor first had and obtained” This simply means therefore that even when a buyer has secured a land with a Certificate of Occupancy, he shouldn’t stop there.
He needs to begin the process of obtaining a Governor’s consent to make that purchase legal in the eyes of the government and be rest assured his land is safe.
A Survey plan is a document that measures the boundary of a parcel of land to give an accurate measurement and description of that land. The people that handle survey issues are Surveyors and they are regulated by the office of the Surveyor general in Lagos as it relates to survey issues in Lagos. A survey plan must contain the following information:
A Gazette is an Official record book where all special government details are spelt out, detailed and recorded
A gazette will show the communities or villages that have been granted excision and the number of acres or hectares of land that the government has given to them. It is within those excised acres or hectares that the traditional family is entitled to sell its lands to the public and not anything outside those hectares of land given or excised to them.
DEED OF ASSIGNMENTS
Most people have the title documents to their cars intact and in safe places but fail to ask for the Deed of assignment to their properties which is several times more valuable than cars
A Deed of assignment is one of the transnational documents drawn up by a real estate attorney between the current title holder for a particular property and the new buyer.
In real property transactions, a deed of assignment is a legal document that transfers the interest of the owner of that interest to the person to whom it is assigned, the assignee. When ownership is transferred, the deed of assignment shows the new legal owner of the property.
The deed contains very pertinent information for a real estate transaction. It spells out the date when the ownership of the property transfers from one owner to the other. The deed also gives a specific description of the property that is included in the transfer of ownership.
It is very compulsory and mandatory for a Deed of Assignment document to be recorded at the appropriate land registry to show legal evidence as to the exchange of ownership in any land/landed property transaction in order to make the general public and government aware of such exchange or transaction.