The Lagos State government has responded to human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, over the controversy trailing its introduction of a parking levy in the state.
A statement on Monday by Adebayo Haroun, senior special assistant to the Commissioner for Justice, insisted that the parking levy has legal backing.
In a post circulated on social media, the Lagos State Parking Authority (LASPA) issued a letter signed by its general manager, Adebisi Adelabu, informing a Lekki-based company that they were charged a total sum of N290,000 for the parking lot outside their premises.
Mr Falana had described the policy as unconstitutional and urged the state government to withdraw it without delay, according to the Punch newspaper.
He added that LASPA was illegal.
“By virtue of Section 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, it is the exclusive constitutional responsibility of local governments to establish and maintain motor parks in any of the states of the federation,” the lawyer said.
“Furthermore, it is the sole responsibility of local government authorities to construct and maintain parks, gardens, open spaces or public facilities as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly.”
But LASPA said Mr Falana was wrong in his assertion.
“The attention of the Lagos State Parking Authority has been drawn to a Statement credited to Mr Femi Falana SAN on the power of the Agency to collect parking levy in respect of parking spaces in Lagos State,” the statement reads.
“The Lagos State Parking Authority Law, 2018, empowers the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State to assign their powers in respect of collection of fees relating to parking to the State Government.
“Accordingly, by a mutual agreement, the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State have assigned their powers to the State Government to collect fees on parking in Lagos State.”
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