By G9ija

The Ondo State Government has announced that it would begin to sanction defaulters of its land use charge from December 1, 2021.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service (ODIRS), Mr Tolu Adegbie, during a sensitisation day in Akure the state capital.

Adegbie warned that the task force has been empowered to begin enforcement on commercial and industrial properties in the state

“The year is running to an end and this charge is paid annually, so a lot of people have not paid for a while and we’ve been doing sensitisation on the television and radio urging them to come and pay. We’ve even pasted due to seal notice on some properties of people who have not paid, but we keep getting reports of some people claiming they are not aware of it.

“So, we decided to do a roadshow and government is the largest employer of labour in this state and that’s why we decided to go to all government agencies and residential areas with specially made flyers for the people to know the penalty of not paying land use charge.

“We are giving them enough time, we are starting the enforcement in the month of December, so people have a whole one month to pay their land use charge and we employ everyone to pay.”

The ODIRS Chairman noted that “before the advent of Governor Akeredolu in 2017, the maximum amount collected from the LUC was about N7 million. The law was actually passed in 2014 by the immediate past governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko.

In 2018 alone, we collected about N150 million; in 2019, we collected N180 million and in 2020, we collected N200 million. This year, we’ve shared N120 million and we are hoping to collect about N250 million before the end of the year.

He explained that the charge would help to bring development closer to the grass root as a certain percentage of the amount generated would go to the local governments in the state.

“The LUC law states that anything that is collected should be shared between the state and the local governments. The state gets 80 per cent and the local government gets 20 per cent. However, Governor Akeredolu had approved the increase of the share of the local government to 30 per cent while the state gets 70 per cent,” he said.

Adegbie admonished residents of the state to pay their charges to avoid sealing of their property.