The Osun State Government has sent a Land Use Charge bill to the state House of Assembly for passage into law.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, said at the public hearing session organised by the House of Assembly on the bill on Tuesday, that the state government decided to introduce the law to make property owners pay certain amount of levy on their property.
The deputy governor said the state needed to look inwards to boost its Internally Generated Revenue to augment its federal allocation.
“ Oil price has been hovering at fourty-something dollars per barrel for quite a while now. People are not buying oil again despite that we are approaching winter when the price is supposed to be high but the price is still low.
“Apart from the land use charge, taxation is another one. Tax is what we use to transform the state,” she said.
The deputy governor added that the state government was also looking into mineral resources and tourist sites in the state to generate more revenue for its development.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salaam, said the bill would assist in increasing the IGR of the state if it was passed into law.
The Speaker said the lawmakers organised the public bearing to give the people of the state the opportunity to have inputs into the law-making process.
He said now that the revenue accruable to the state could no longer sustain the desired development, there was the need to look inwards to be able to generate more revenue.
The representative of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr. Bioye Tajudeen, said the proposed law was good but the government should consider the high level of poverty in the state.
Tajudeen said, “The Land Use Charge Bill proposes formula to determine the annual charge rate. We, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Osun State, however, recommend the use of valuation list to determine the annual charge rate.
“ A valuation list prepared by the registered estate surveyors and valuers should serve as a basis for determining the land use charge in this state and should be reviewed and updated every calendar year.”
He said the bill should exempt places of worship from paying rates but schools and other business interests owned by religious organisations should be made to pay rates.