Osun state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday April 5, 2016 presented the Land Use Charge with a view to increase the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.
Aregbesola during the public presentation of Land Use Charge at the Exco Lounge, Governor’s office, Abere, Osogbo, said the land owner would be allowed to appeal high or low charges but the half of the charges must be paid before the appeal.
He said the new law was initiated as a viable alternative to oil money, urging the people of the state to join hands with the government to make the new law work.
He said Nigeria dependence on oil has caused more hardship than succour, adding “taxation remains the only viable and sustainable way civilized societies fund, sustain and maintain their government.
Aregbesola who decribed land as a greater resource stressed the need for government to take the use of land as another alternative trough which the current economic crises orchestrated by the steady fall in the oil price could be tackled.
Speaking, Consultant on Land Use Charge, Pastor Olumide Bolorunduro, said the charges was to harmonize all property laws like tenement rate among others.
He added that location, quality, size and value of the area will be considered in order to bring out the charge, stressing that bankers have been appointed to collect in order to ensure that there is no leakages.
Bolorunduro stated further that Finance Ministry, Works and Land including other professionals, collectively calculated the formula, saying that the taxation was a collective responsibility.
He said the charges was to stem up the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, adding that “it is a call to rally round the government so as to have enough fund to govern the state.
Former Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Dr Ajibola Basiru, stated that some properties were excepted in line with Section 8 of the law.
According to Basiru, properties used exclusively for religious body, Cemeteries and burial ground, registered educational institute that is non-profit making, property used solely for Non-governmental Organization activities and traditional grounds were exempted.
He added that Motherless baby home, Palaces of recognized Obas and Villages heads (Baales), were also exempted from the charges.
Speaker, Rt Hon Najeem Salaam, said the law was not new even if it is new in Osun.
He noted that the state House of Assembly had organized a public hearing on November 3rd, 2015, before the final passage of the bill.
He however advised the executive to ensure that enough awareness is carried out on the bill, saying the formula was designed to make it application easy for the people of the state.
The speaker however promised that the house will always provide enabling environment for the state to grow, adding that “if this law is well implemented, our IGR in Osun will definitely improve.