Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has kicked off the payment of the Oyo State Land Use Charge by paying bills on his private properties, charging property owners in the state to follow suit by paying their Land Use Charge.
The governor maintained that the payment of the charge would help the government to generate additional revenues to develop the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Executive Council also granted approvals for the commencement of the Oyo State Residents’ Registration Programme and forwarding of three Bills to the State House of Assembly.
The bills are the State Audit Bill, Assessment and Collection of Personal Income Tax Bill and the Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology Bill.
The Council also approved the relocation and establishment of the College of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) to Iseyin, mandating the Ministry of Education and the management of the university to work with the community to ensure that land is provided for the establishment of the College.
A take-off grant was also approved for the project.
The state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, while explaining the Land Use Charge maintained that the charge is not a new tax and that it “is to ensure that Oyo State has the revenues required to carry out all the exceptional projects to uplift our people from poverty to prosperity.”
Ojo said that the state government has, in the last one year, embarked on data capturing and enumeration of properties, adding that the charge, which will be paid annually, has been designed in such a way that the value of properties would determine the amount to be paid.
He added that the payment could be made over a period of time, with incentives for early payment and penalties for default. “What we have done in this administration is to enumerate all the properties in Oyo State and all the properties in the state now have a unique I.D and we have also delivered bills to every property in the state,” he said.
He added: “The process is easy and quick. Anybody who has a smartphone can use it to take a picture of the QR code on the top right corner of the Bill. With that, you get a quick populated screen where you just need to insert some fields, capture some essential details, which are your name, email address, contact phone number and follow the prompt. And at your convenience, you can pay your land use charge bill as long as you have an ATM card and a smart phone. That is the easiest way of paying your land use charge bill.
“You can also go to the bank if you don’t have a smartphone, present your bill and you will be allowed to pay the bill. You can also go to the Ministry of Lands, where there is a dedicated office where you can pay the bill and get the receipt.
“So, we encourage every resident of Oyo State to embrace this lofty idea and ensure that we find a way to revolutionise this state.”
Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the State, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo (SAN), stated that the Audit Bill is an initiative of the World Bank, the Federal Government and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and it is intended to improve the activities of the office of the Auditor-General of the state and the local government to ensure accountability and transparency.