Ondo State begins enforcement of Land Use Act for revenue generation

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Ondo State will start the enforcement of its Land Use Act on Dec. 1.

Mr Tolu Adegbie, Chairman, Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS), made this known at the start of a two-day road awareness and sensitisation programme on Wednesday in Akure.

Adegbie said property owners in the state had a month’s grace to pay their Land Use charge or risk the penalties.

“The penalties for not paying include sealing of premises or forfeiture of the premises to the government after filing ‘due to seal notice’.

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“If you remove the `due to seal notice’, you will pay a fine of N50,000.

“If you remove the tag that we put on your house, you will pay a fine of N50, 000.

“If you’re a corporate organisation and you remove the `due to seal’ notice or the tag, then you pay a fine of N200,000,’’ he warned.

According to him, the Ondo State Land Use Law, 2014, stipulates that any liable individual or corporate organisation that receives the notice but refuses to pay the charge risks the sealing of the premises.

He or she is also liable to forfeiture of his or its property to the state government, Adegbie said.

“If payment is not made after 135 days, the property on which the charge is payable shall be liable to receivership by the state or its appointed agent.

“The receivership shall take effect only after an order is granted by a Chief Magistrate’s Court.

“This is until all outstanding taxes, penalties and all administrative charges have been paid,’’ he said.

The ODIRS chairman noted that in spite of many aggressive communication efforts by the agency to inform, remind and persuade people to pay, the response had been poor.

“Communication was made on radio, television, newspaper and digital platforms, yet a lot of people had not paid with the year fast running to an end,’’ he lamented.

Adegbie said that many people had claimed not to be aware of the charge, hence, the need for the public road campaign.

He added that offices, houses, shops and other tax paying entities had been well informed so as to forestall giving excuses when enforcement began.

The ODIRS chairman said, however, that revenue receipts from the Land Use Charge had increased in recent times.

It rose from N8 million to N180 million in 2019 and to N200 million in 2020, while projected receipts for 2021 was N250 million.

Adegbie added that the state government had increased the percentage share of local government areas from land use charge revenue from 20 per cent to 30 per cent.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the road show campaign involved the distribution of flyers, display of banners detailing payment rates and penalties for not paying the charge.

The sensitisation team visited government agencies and offices and residential areas in Akure. (NAN)

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