Friday, January 7, 2011

Lagos State Introduces Ugly Building Tax

Lagos state home owners are today waking up to news of a new tax that will finally cement the state’s status as the taxation capital of the Country.

The new tax, officially known as Environmental Blight Levy, has been given the name, the Ugly Building tax, by some mischievous journalists.

The tax will be levied against existing buildings that are deemed to be exceptionally ugly. New build projects can avoid the new tax if the architectural plans submitted are not too unsightly. If however, owners of proposed new builds insist on building new monstrosities, they will have to pay the Ugly Building tax which will be calculated on a total square foot of ugliness basis. A fairly ugly building on the ugliness scale will have a score of one, while truly awesomely ugly structures will score 1000.

Reacting to the news, Alhaji Baba Eko, a property developer in Lekki, expressed his gratitude towards the state government: “At last, a tax that makes sense. I built several blocks of flats on a popular road in Ajah a few years back, and I was able to sell each one of them for about fifty million. But then, one yahoo yahoo boy came and built a gigantic eyesore right opposite my flats and the orders stopped coming. Some tenants that I rented the remaining flats to even asked for refund. Can you imagine? You should see the building, it can scare a little child.”

We asked the gentleman if he considered the tax to be nothing more than another clever trick that Lagos state has formulated to generate revenue.
His response: “I’m telling you, I don’t even care if they impose a tax of one billion Naira. In fact, they shouldn’t stop there; they should demolish all rubbish buildings. It still perplexes me that two people can spend the same amount of money and use the same amount of cement to build two houses, and would would turnout lovely while the other looks like something out of a horror movie.”

To get a balanced view, we spoke to the ‘yahoo yahoo’ boy, Mr J.J Fine Country, also known as, ‘The thing that swallowed the thing that swallowed the elephant.’
Mr J.J was adamant that his building was as beautiful as any in the country: “They say my house is not beautiful? They are mad. Who dem be sef? Wey dem? They sef don build house? Abegi, make I hear word. If na poverty dey worry dem, make dem talk to me, I go settle the baggers. This na Lagos, nothing wey settlement nor fit settle. Aso rock sef dey catch cold when im see my mansion.”

Mr J.J took us on a tour of his home, he was particularly pleased with the chandelier in his guest toilet and he wanted us to ‘test’ each armchair in his 100 foot living room, one of twelve living arrears in the edifice that according to him, makes the White House look like a boys quarters. He also insisted that we bend down and feel the softness of the Egyptian rug in his fourteen car garage. 

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