By Fatima Muraina
The Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) has assured of prompt payment of the percentage due for the local government areas from the tax generated from the Land Use Charge.
The Chairman of the Board, Mr Tolu Adegbie made this known during a sensitisation visit to both the Olowo of Owo kingdom and Ojomo Luda of Ijebu-Owo at the weekend.
Adegbie said government has harmonised the collection of both the Land Use Charge and Tenement Rate into one, which he said will be shared with the local government areas.
He observed that government’s previous challenges in implementing the law was because evaluation was not done before rates were announced.
This, he noted, brought about all kinds of unwholesome activities since the establishment of the law in 2014, with the local government officials doing what he called the “best judgement formular” in collecting the tax on the Land Use Charge.
Adegbie noted that the present administration decided to follow the due process of the law which will facilitate the increment of the IGR to ensure infrastructural development in the state.
He disclosed that the state engaged the services of the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors for property valuation as contained in the law before rating is done.
Adegbie, who said that the state government announced amnesty rate, by slashing what it should normally be as contained in the law, noted that citizens are to pay for only years 2017 and 2018 instead of payment from year 2014 till date.
According to him, the law had stipulated three areas for collection which are the high value areas, medium and the low value areas stressing that implementation is to be done at the high valued areas across the state first, while other areas will follow.
Addressing the team, the Olowo of Owo Kingdom, Oba David Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi assured of encouraging his people to comply with the land use charge.
He said the government should consider the economic situation of the country to further reduce the rate.
He also appealed on behalf of those who may not be able to afford to pay on time for a reduction in for late payment.
On his own, Ojomo Oluda of Ijebu Owo, Oba Kofoworola Olatunbosun Oladoyinbo Aruliwo 111 said there was need to properly sensitise the people on the programme, which he said has numerous advantages.
He described the mission as a laudable one as he urged government to ensure that part of the money generated is used to develop the communities.
Earlier, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Kola Olawoye emphasised the need to boost IGR for the infrastructural development of the state.
Those present during the visits included the Special Assistant to the Governor on Revenue, Miss Adebusayo Olateru-Olagbegi, officials of the BIR and the Chiefs in Council of the two towns.