There seems to be confusion among residents of Warri following the introduction of “Residential Tenement Rates” by the Warri South Local Government Council led by Hon. Michael Tidi.
In a chat with DAILY POST, Tidi explained that there is “Commercial” and “Residential Tenement Rates” in places like Lagos State but he insisted that the payment is not for the tenants but for the landlords.
He stated that the residential tenement rates is in existence in Uvwie Local Government; noting that his predecessor, Hon. Mofe Matthew Edema introduced it silently in Warri.
Meanwhile, the confusion among the residents is contained in a “Residential Tenement Rate” Demand Notice obtained by DAILY POST on Sunday.
The Demand Notice specified different amounts to be paid by compounds in Warri but some of the landlords, it was learnt, have already distributed the amount assessed by the Local Government Council for their tenants to pay.
But, the tenants are insisting that “land tenement rates” ought to be paid by the landlords who are owners of the landed properties and not them.
The Demand Notice with reference number: Area/Ward/Community/Oki/WSU/051/2018 is signed by the Warri South Local Government Council Treasurer as well as the Chairman, Residential Sub-Committee without names in the Demand Notice.
Property owners within the area are by the demand notice required to make total payment within 28days of service of the notice Pursuant to 5.9 of the Warri South Government Council miscellaneous revenue by law.
Part of the information in the demand notice obtained by DAILY POST reads, “All payments should be made through the Warri South Local Government Council Electronic Scratch Card as cash is no longer acceptable.
“We further remind you that if the assessed amount is not paid within 28days you will be liable to pay default surcharge as the Council will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action.”
When contacted, a top management staff of the Warri South Local Government Council, who craved anonymity in a chat with DAILY POST, explained that the Demand Notice stated that it is “Property Owners Tenement Rates” stressing that it is for landlords, and not tenants.
The local government staff also noted that the Property Owners Tenement Rate which has just been brought to Warri South Local Government Council has been in existence in the Uvwie Local Government Council for long, pointing out that the payment is a yearly one.
Meanwhile, rights Activist, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi Esq stated that the law prescribes tenement rates and not residential rates.
Ikimi said, “This is because, it is landlords that pays tenement rates and not a tenant. Period.”
A social media activist, Comrade Omoko Vincent Oghenevwegba said, “There is nothing like residential tenement rates. It is called tenement rates for buildings within each LGAs”.