Court stops LASG from enforcing 5% hotel tax law

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Justice Rilwan Aikawa, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained the Lagos State Government from enforcing the provisions of its new Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant (Fiscalisation) Regulations 2017.

The law introduced a five per cent consumption tax in addition to a five per cent Value Added Tax on every purchase or service rendered by hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets, event centres, bars and night clubs.

But in a ruling on March 21, 2018, the court restrained the state from further enforcing the law.

The court said the law would remain suspended until the final determination of a suit filed against the government by the Registered Trustees of Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos.

The judge also temporarily struck down the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law Cap H8, Laws of Lagos State 2015.

He particularly restrained the state from enforcing or implementing paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 of the Lagos State Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant (Fiscalisation) Regulations 2017.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa stopped the state and its agents from visiting the plaintiffs hotels “for the purpose of installing fiscal electronic device and any other purposes whatsoever in furtherance of the law and the regulations.”

He made the interim order following an ex parte application taken before him by the association of hotel owners in Lagos through their lawyer, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN).

Shasore, who is a former attorney general and justice commissioner in Lagos State, had prayed the court to stop the state and its agents from visiting his clients “between March 1 and March 10, 2018 or any other period before or thereafter” pending the hearing and determination of his clients’ motion on notice dated March 7, 2018.

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Justice Aikawa, after granting the interim restraining orders, adjourned till April 17, 2018 to hear the plaintiffs’ motion on notice.

Joined as defendants in the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/360/2018, are the Attorney General of Lagos State and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Why Taraba is owing retirees N11 bn gratuity -Head of Service
Taraba government on Friday said the shortfall in revenue allocation and the need to pay salaries as at when due were reasons the state government was owing retirees N11 billion gratuity.

The state’s Head of Civil Service, Mr Simon Angyo disclosed this at the state accountability programme ‘Face the Press’, organised by the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Darius Ishaku on Public Affairs.

He explained that though the government was promptly paying pension, salaries and other entitlements of workers and retirees, the backlog of gratuity would be cleared as soon as the state’s economy improved.

Angyo expressed delight over the understanding reached between workers of the state owned University, Polytechnic, School of Nursing, and College of Education, who had earlier embarked on strike over unresolved issues with the unions.

He said that government had engaged the respective labour unions into negotiations that yielded fruits, leading to the suspension of the strikes.

“Let me inform you that as we speak, no union is on strike in the state. All the civil servants in the state who were on strike have called off the strikes.

“We have engaged the umbrella union body for our Polytechnic, College of Education, School of Nursing and the Academic Staff Union of University and have reached a point where all the groups have agreed to call off the strikes.

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“This goes to show the commitment of the state government towards the well being of its workers.

“We hope to keep our side of the bargain to ensure that we don’t have to get to the point of going on strikes before things are resolved,’’ he said.

Angyo disclosed that alterations of records by civil servants, who do not want to leave the service after they are due for retirement, had remain a major problem for the service.

He said that the state government was already working to ensure that all data related to the over 14, 000 civil servants in the state was computerized and safely secured to address the challenge of alteration of records.

About Henry Enegede 260 Articles
Writer, Editor 9News Nigeria

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