Hoteliers Battle Lagos State From Enforcing Hotel Tax Law

Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria.
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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, Justice Rilwan Aikawa restrained the state from further enforcing the law.

The judge 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 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, 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.

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

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