CHAPTER A11 LAWS OF LAGOS STATE
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ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART 1 –Preliminary
1. Citation and application.
PART 2 – Valuation of Premises
4. Appraisers to assess value of tenements.
5. Powers of appraiser.
6. Penalty for refusing information.
7. Assessment of annual value of a tenement actually rented at a fair rent.
8. Assessment of annual value in other cases.
9. Notice of assessment to be given to the owners and occupiers.
10. List of tenements and valuation.
11. Appraisement of part of a place only.
12. First general assessment to be the valuation for two years.
13. Valuation list of general assessment to be open to inspection.
14. (1) Preparation of valuation list when existing valuation is adopted.
(2) Notice and exhibition of list.
PART 3 – Special Provision for Public Utility Corporations
17. Basis of assessment.
18. Method of assessment of such basis.
19. Amount of rates to be levied.
21. Application of section 4.
PART 4 – Objections and Appeals
22. Establishment and constitution of Valuation Court.
23. Establishment and composition of Valuation Panel.
24. Staff and expenses of Valuation Court.
25. Quorum and voting.
26. Objections to a general assessment or to an annual valuation list.
27. Objections to assessments or reassessments made under section 4.
28. Power to issue summons.
29. Disobedience to summons and refusal to give evidence punishable.
30. Court may require evidence on oath.
31. Procedure before Valuation Court.
32. Right to appeal.
33. Minutes to be evidence.
PART 5 – Regulations and Rules
34. Power to make regulations.
35. Power to make rules.
CHAPTER A11 – ASSESSMENT LAW
A Law to provide for the ascertainment of the value of tenements for rating purposes and for purposes connected therewith.
[F. & L. 1958, Cap. 15 & 16. 1972 No. 18. L.N. 257 of 1959. L.N. 112 of 1964.]
[Parts 1 and 2 21st May, 1915; Part 3 3rd May, 1956;
Parts 4 and 5 23rd September, 1954]
PART 1 – Preliminary
This Law may be cited as the Assessment Law, shall apply to the Lagos Division.
[1972 No. 18.]
In this law unless the context otherwise requires—
“annual value” means the rent at which any tenement might reasonably be expected to let, at the time of the valuation, from year to year, if the tenant undertook to pay all usual tenant’s rates and taxes, and if the landlord undertook to pay the costs of repairs and insurance, with any other expenses necessary to maintain the tenement in a state to command the rent. Such annual value shall not include the value of any machinery in or upon the tenement;
“capital value” means the price which a purchaser might reasonably be expected to give for the tenement, excluding any machinery upon or in the tenement;
“improvements on land” means all work actually done or material used thereon by the expenditure of money or labour by any owner or occupier of the land, nevertheless in so far only as the effect of such work or material done or used is to increase the value of the land, and the benefit thereof is unexhausted at the time of valuation;
“occupier” means the person in occupation of the tenement in respect of which the word is used or of any part of such tenement, but does not include a lodger;
“owner” includes the person for the time being receiving the rent of the tenement in connection with which the word is used, whether on his own account or as agent or trustee for any other person, or who would receive the same if such tenement were let to a tenant, and the holder of a tenement direct from the State whether under lease, licence or otherwise;
“prescribed officer” means the officer appointed by the Governor to perform the duties of the prescribed officer under this Law;
“tenement” means any land with or without buildings which is held or occupied as a distinct or separate holding or tenancy, or any wharf or pier in the waters of Nigeria;
“unimproved value” of a tenement means the sum which the owner’s estate or interest in the land if unencumbered by any mortgage or other charge thereon, might be expected to realize at the time of valuation, if offered for sale on such reasonable terms and conditions as a bona fide seller might be expected to impose, and if no improvements as hereinafter defined had been made on the said land.
The State Commissioner may by notice in the State Gazette appoint for any place to which this Law is applied any suitable persons to be appraisers for the purposes of this Law.
[L.N. 257 of 1959.]
Valuation of Premises
(1) On or after the application of this Law to any place, the State Commissioner shall give directions as to whether the capital or annual value or unimproved value of tenements shall be assessed, and, as soon as conveniently may be after the receipt of such directions, the appraiser shall proceed to ascertain and assess the capital or annual value or unimproved value of the tenements in such place in accordance with the State Commissioner’s directions. Such assessment is hereinafter referred to as the first general assessment.
[L.N. 257 of 1959.]
(2) The State Commissioner in any year direct that a new general assessment shall be made in respect of all the tenements or of any class of tenements in any place or portion of a place to which the Law has been applied.
[L.N. 257 of 1959.]
When a new general assessment is directed in respect of all tenements, the directions shall include directions as to whether the new assessment shall be of the capital or annual value or unimproved value of tenements.
(3) In the month of July or as soon as conveniently may be thereafter in every year an appraiser shall ascertain and assess the capital value or annual value or unimproved value of any tenements, which, having been assessed, in the opinion of the appraiser require reassessment, and of any tenements which, being rateable, or about to become rateable, have not been assessed, and of any tenement in respect of which any person claiming to be the owner or occupier thereof shall have delivered to the appraiser a written request for reassessment on or before the first day of the preceding March.
(4) (a) When any tenement has been increased or reduced in value since the preparation of the current valuation list, whether by building, destruction of building, or other alteration in the structural condition of such tenement, or when a tenement, being rateable or about to become rateable, is not included in such valuation list, the appraiser may, at any time, reassess or assess the capital value or annual value or unimproved value of such tenement and deliver a note of such reassessment or assessment to the prescribed officer, who shall thereupon cause a notice, signed by him, specifying the capital or annual value or unimproved value as so reassessed or assessed, and the date in the current year from which such reassessment or assessment is intended to operate, to be served on the owner and occupier (if any) of such tenement.
(b) Such reassessment or assessment shall come into operation on the date specified in such notice, and in the case of reassessment shall supersede the assessment in the current valuation list, and in the case of a first assessment shall be added to such valuation list: Provided that any owner or occupier who may be dissatisfied with such reassessment or assessment, or with the date from which it is intended to operate, may lodge a notice of objection, as provided in section 24 or 25, within twenty-one days of the service upon him of the notice of reassessment, or assessment, and all the other provisions of this Law relating to objections to a valuation list, and to appeals from an assessment committee shall apply in such cases.
An appraiser may—
(a) on any day except a Sunday or public holiday between the hours of seven o’clock in the morning and six o’clock in the afternoon enter into and upon any tenement for the purpose of making a valuation thereof, and take such measurements and other particulars as he may deem necessary for the purpose;
(b) call upon the occupier for his name and, if the occupier is not the owner, the name and address of the owner of the tenement;
(c) call upon the owner or occupier of any tenement to exhibit to him any receipt for rent, rent books or other documents whatever connected with the rent or value of the tenement;
(d) require the owner or occupier of any tenement actually rented to make a declaration in writing as to the yearly rent paid or payable for the same;
(e) require the owner or occupier to inform him as to the boundaries of the tenement;
(f) generally, require the owner or occupier to furnish any information which in the opinion of the appraiser may affect the capital or annual value or unimproved value of the tenement;
(g) appoint in writing deputies who may exercise all the powers of an appraiser under this section.
(1) Any person who, when required by an appraiser or his deputy to exhibit anything or to make any declaration or give any information which the appraiser or his deputy is authorised by the last preceding section to require of him, shall refuse or neglect to exhibit such thing or to make such declaration or to give such information, or shall make a false declaration or shall give information which he knows to be false, shall be liable to a fine of fifty naira.
(2) Any person who prevents or hinders or obstructs an appraiser or his deputy from entering, inspecting or measuring any tenement shall be liable to the penalty prescribed in subsection (1).
The appraiser shall, according to the best of his ability, assess the annual value of any tenement—
(a) where such tenement is not actually rented;
(b) where no declaration has been made with respect to such tenement;
(c) where the appraiser is of opinion that the rent stated in the declaration is not the fair annual value of such tenement.
When the capital, annual or unimproved value of any tenement is assessed for the first time or when an existing assessment is altered, the appraiser shall cause a notice, signed by him and specifying the capital, annual or unimproved value as assessed by him, to be served on the owner and occupier (if any): Provided such notice shall not be required in respect of any tenement the capital, annual or unimproved value of which is assessed at less than ninety naira, sixty naira or thirty naira respectively: And provided further that omission to serve such notice shall not invalidate any assessment or relieve any person from the payment of any rate.
(1) As soon as a first or any subsequent general assessment shall have been completed, the appraiser shall make out and sign a list of the several tenements assessed and of their respective valuation and shall deliver the same to the prescribed officer.
(2) The appraiser shall in every year make out and sign a list of the several tenements which he shall have assessed under subsection (3) of section 4 and of their respective valuations and shall deliver the same to the prescribed officer.
(1) In the case of any general assessment when the assessment of the tenements in any part of the place in respect of which such general assessment is to be made has been completed, the appraiser may, if he thinks fit, and shall, if so directed by the State Commissioner, make out, sign and deliver the list required by subsection (1) of section 10 in respect of that part of the place without awaiting the completion of the assessment of the whole place. [L.N. 257 of 1959.]
(2) Such list shall, in relation to the part of the place to which it refers, have the same effect and shall be dealt with in the same manner as a list delivered by the appraiser under subsection (1) of section 10.
(1) A valuation list of a first general assessment shall, for the purpose of any rate to be levied in respect of the tenements assessed, be the valuation list for the year in which the same is published and for the next following year.
(2) When an order has been made altering the basis of valuation before the assessment of all the tenements in the place in respect of which such order has been made has been completed, the list published in accordance with such order shall for the purpose of subsection (1) be deemed to be the list of a first general assessment.
(1) The prescribed officer shall after receiving the valuation list of any general assessment give public notice in the State Gazette, or by such other means as he may think fit, of the fact that the valuation list has been prepared, and as to the place at which the same may be inspected.
(2) The list or an examined copy thereof shall be open to inspection at the place mentioned during ordinary office hours for twenty one days from the date of the publication of such notice.
(1) (a) In every year in which there shall be no general assessment the prescribed officer, after receiving the list mentioned in subsection (2) of section 10, shall cause a copy of the existing valuation list to be prepared with such additions and alterations only as are necessary to give effect to any new assessment or reassessment shown on the list delivered by the appraisers.
(b) Such valuation list when prepared shall be signed by the prescribed officer and, subject to any alterations which may be made on the order of the Valuation Court established under section 20 or the High Court, shall be the valuation list for the year next following the year for which the then existing list has been made.
Notice and exhibition of list
(2) Notice of the preparation of such list and of the place at which the same may be inspected shall be given in the manner prescribed by section 13, and the list or an examined copy thereof shall be open for inspection for the same period as a list of a first or subsequent general assessment.
Special Provision for Public Utility Corporations
“dwelling-house” means a hereditament used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a private dwelling or private dwellings, with or without any garage, outhouse, garden, compound, yard, court, forecourt or other appurtenances;
“public utility corporation” means the National Electric Power Authority established in pursuance of the National Electric Power Authority Act, the Nigerian Ports Authority established in pursuance of the Ports Act, the Nigerian Railway Corporation established in pursuance of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act, and any other body that the State Commissioner may by notification in the Gazette declare to be a public utility corporation for the purposes of this Law.
[L.F.N. Cap. 256. Cap. 361. Cap. 323. L.N. 257 of 1959.]
With effect from the 1st day of April, 1956, assessment in respect of tenements occupied by a public utility corporation, other than tenements used as dwelling-houses, shall be of the depreciated capital value of such tenements assessed as provided for in section 17.
(1) In assessing depreciated capital value no account shall be taken of the value of—
(a) any machinery in or upon the tenements;
(b) any wharf or pier, or pontoon used as a wharf or pier;
(c) any railway track: Provided that in assessing the value of any building in which a portion of such track is situate the area of land on which such track is situate shall be included in the assessment of the value of such building;
(d) any fencing, earthworks, bridges, signal boxes and other signal apparatus, or water towers and equipment of a like nature relating to any railway track;
(e) any railway station platform, together with any roof or canopy thereto, but subject to paragraph (d) of this subsection, not including any building erected upon such platform.
(2) The depreciated capital value of a tenement shall be the amount which it is assessed the replacement of the tenement would cost at the prices ruling at the time of assessment depreciated according to the age, obsolescence and structural condition of the buildings upon the tenement at that time.
In respect of any period commencing on and after the 1st day of April, 1956, the rates payable under the Local Government Law, shall be the amount calculated in accordance with the provisions of the appropriate section of the Local Government Law in force in the State.
In the application of subsection (2) of section 4 to tenements occupied by a public utility corporation, other than tenements used as dwelling-houses, it shall not be requisite for the State Commissioner to issue directions as to the method of assessment of such tenements, and references in this Law to capital value shall in respect of such tenements mean depreciated capital value assessed in accordance with the provisions of this Part.
[L.N. 257 of 1959.]
Objections and Appeals
(1) A Valuation Court constituted as hereinafter provided shall be convened as often as may be necessary for the purpose of hearing and determining objections to assessments and reassessments and to valuation lists in respect of tenements in places to which this Law applies.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Law the court shall consist of the following members—
(a) a President;
(b) a Vice-President;
(c) not less than two nor more than six members of the Valuation Panel selected by the President in accordance with this section.
(3) The Civil Service Commission may appoint persons to be President and Vice-President of the Valuation Court.
(4) In the case of the temporary absence or inability of the President the State Commissioner may appoint the Vice-President to act as President and when so acting he shall have all the powers and functions of the President.
[L.N. 112 of 1964.]
(5) The President may select from amongst the members of the Valuation Panel persons to be members of the Valuation Court to deal with a particular case or class or group of cases.
(1) There shall be a Valuation Panel which shall consist of twenty-four members.
(2) The members of the Valuation Panel shall be appointed by the State Commissioner and shall hold office at his pleasure.
[L.N. 112 of 1964.]
(1) The State Commissioner may appoint a public officer to be Clerk of the Valuation Court.
(2) The expenses of the Valuation Court including the salaries of the President and Vice-President shall be defrayed out of money provided by the Government of the State.
[L.N. 112 of 1964.]
(1) The jurisdiction of the Valuation Court may be exercised by the President and any two or more members selected in accordance with subsection (5) of section 20.
(2) The President shall preside at the sittings of the Valuation Court.
(3) A decision shall be taken, in the event of a difference between the members hearing the case, by the votes of the majority and in the event of an equality of votes, the President shall be entitled to a second or casting vote.
(1) Any owner or occupier who is dissatisfied with any assessment appearing in a valuation list may lodge with the appraiser a notice of objection to such assessment.
(2) The appraiser shall not accept such a notice of objection unless—
(a) it is lodged within the period during which the valuation list is open for public inspection as provided in sections 13 and 14;
(b) it is in writing and states fully the grounds upon which it is made and specifies the precise amendments desired to remove the objection, stating, where the objection relates in any way to the amount of an assessment, the value or values claimed to represent the correct assessment; and
(c) the person objecting complies with the regulations relating to objections made under this Law which are for the time being in force.
(3) After the expiration of the period limited for the lodging of notices of objection provided by subsection (2) (a) the appraiser shall as soon as practicable consider all objections and may make such alterations to the valuation list as he thinks proper, for the purpose of meeting such objections.
(4) After the appraiser shall have considered all objections made in pursuance of subsection (2) he shall cause to be served on the persons who made the objections notices stating whether he has made any and if so what alterations in the list with respect to the tenements to which the objections relate.
(5) Where the appraiser makes any alteration in pursuance of subsection (3) he shall cause to be served on the prescribed officer for the place where the tenement is situate a notice stating the alteration made.
(6) Any person on whom a notice is served under subsection (4) may, by notice of appeal served on the appraiser, appeal to the Valuation Court with respect to the tenement in question.
(7) A notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall be served before the expiration of the twenty-one days following that of the service on him of the notice specified in subsection (4) and shall contain a statement of the grounds of appeal.
(8) The appraiser shall, within seven days after the date on which notice of appeal is served upon him under subsection (6) transmit a copy thereof to each of the following persons, that is to say—
(a) to the Clerk of the Valuation Court; and
(b) to the prescribed officer for the place where the tenement is situate.
(1) Any owner or occupier who may be dissatisfied with a reassessment or assessment made under the provisions of subsection (4) of section 4 or with the date from which it is intended to operate may lodge a notice of objection as provided in subsection (2) of section 24 within twenty-one days of the service upon him of the notice of reassessment or assessment.
(2) The appraiser shall within twenty-eight days from the date on which the notice of objection is served on him, serve on the person making the objection a notice stating whether he has made any and if so what alteration to the assessment of the tenement to which the objection relates.
(3) Where the appraiser makes any alteration in pursuance of subsection (2) he shall cause to be served on the prescribed officer for the place where the tenement is situate a notice stating the alteration made.
(4) Any person on whom a notice is served under subsection (2) may by notice of appeal served on the appraiser appeal to the Valuation Court in a manner similar to that provided by subsections (7) and (8) of section 24.
(1) If the President is of the opinion that the evidence of any person or the production of any document is necessary for the purposes of the hearing of any objection, he may issue a summons under his hand directing the person therein named to attend at the time and place therein mentioned to give evidence or produce the documents therein specified or to do both.
(2) The Sheriff shall at the request of the President detail a bailiff or other officer for the service of summons under this section.
The Valuation Court may require any person appearing before it to give his evidence on oath, and the President is hereby empowered to administer oaths for that purpose.
(1) Where notice of appeal is received under the foregoing provisions of this Law by the Clerk of the Valuation Court, it shall be the duty of the President to arrange for the convening of such court at such time and place as he may determine.
(2) The procedure of the Valuation Court shall, subject to such regulations, if any, as may be made by the State Commissioner in that behalf, be determined by the court.
[L.N. 112 of 1964.]
(3) The Valuation Court shall, unless it otherwise orders upon being satisfied that the interests of any party would be prejudicially affected, sit in public.
(4) On the hearing of an appeal—
(a) the person making the appeal; and
(b) the prescribed officer of the place in which the tenement to which the appeal relates is situate; and
(c) the appraiser of the place in which the tenement is situate, shall be entitled to appear and be represented by a law officer, crown counsel or by any legal practitioner and be heard as parties to the objection and to examine any witnesses before the court and to call witnesses.
(5) After hearing the persons mentioned in the last preceding subsection, or such of them as desire to be heard, the Valuation Court shall give such directions with respect to the matter in which the tenement in question is to be treated in the valuation list as appear to them to be necessary to give effect to the contention of the person objecting, if and so far as that contention appears to the court to be well founded.
(6) Where a direction is given under subsection (5) the Clerk of the Valuation Court shall cause a copy of the minutes of the proceedings containing such direction to be served on the prescribed officer who shall make such alterations to the valuation list as are necessary to give effect to that direction.
(7) The Valuation Court may, subject to any regulation made by the State Commissioner, order that the costs of any proceedings before it incurred by any party shall be paid by any other party and may settle the amount of any costs to be paid under any such order and such costs may be recoverable from the party against whom the order is made as a civil debt.
[L.N. 112 of 1964.]
Any person who in pursuance of the last preceding section appeared before the Valuation Court at the hearing of an appeal and is aggrieved by the decision of the court thereon may appeal to the High Court of Lagos State subject to the following conditions—
(a) the appellant shall within fourteen days after the decision of the Valuation Court give notice in writing to the Clerk of the Valuation Court of his intention to appeal and of the grounds thereof; and
(b) the appellant shall within the like period enter into a recognisance before a judge of the High Court of Lagos State or a magistrate with two sufficient sureties, conditioned to pay any costs which may be awarded against him on such appeal.
Minutes of the proceedings of the Valuation Court shall be kept in books provided for that purpose and shall be signed by the President at or not later than two days after the date of the sitting of the court to which the minute relates and any such minute shall be received in evidence without further proof.
Regulations and Rules
The State Commissioner may make regulations for all or any of the following purposes—
[L.N. 112 of 1964.]
(a) for regulating the practice and procedure relating to objections and appeals and the practice and procedure of the Valuation Court, including all matters connected with the forms to be used and the fees to be payable;
(b) for regulating any matter relating to the costs of proceedings in the Valuation Court; and
(c) generally for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Law.
The Chief Judge may make rules as to—
(a) the practice and procedure on appeal under section 30;
(b) the forms to be used and the fees to be paid on such appeals; and
(c) generally for the purposes of appeals under section 30.