Following the dwindling revenue allocation from the federation account to Osun State Government, the State House of Assembly yesterday held a public hearing on the Land Use Charge bill with an assurance to maintain a level playing field for professionals involved in the bill that would soon be passed to law.
The Speaker of the house, Hon. Najeem Salaam, apparently speaking on memoranda submitted by concerned professionals in the bill sued for understanding saying that the essence of the public hearing was to enable professional bodies and the people of the state make their contributions in the legislation process.
Professional bodies like Nigeria Institution of Surveyors and Valuers, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners and Architects while presenting their memoranda in response to the bill expressed diverse views and concerns on the bill.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Land, Physical Planning and Urban Development in the state, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Wale Ojo said cemetery, burial grounds, churches, palaces, retirees, pensioners, old people and other non-governmental organisations that are non-profit oriented should be exempted from paying any charge.
But the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors and Valuers said religious bodies that own schools and other institutions that are profit oriented should be taxed.
Speaking on behalf of the body, Prof. Bioye Tajudeen advised the House of Assembly to re-visit the bill with the aim of involving the services of professionals that would bring a turn around to the state’s economy.
The public hearing held at the premises of the Osun state house of Assembly in Osogbo also had in attendance traditional rulers, market men and women, artisans, landlords, lawyers among others.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola in his speech appealed to taxable people of the state to pay their taxes in order for the government to continue numerous projects it has embarked upon in the state.