Ondo PDP, Akeredolu differ over land use charge
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State chapter, has condemned the land use charge instituted by the state government, saying it is an attempt to steal the people’s land through the backdoor.
The state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday launched the Automated Land Use Charge Payment System in Akure, giving land owners three years waiver and asked them to pay 2017 arrears. But the PDP aspirant for the North Senatorial District election in 2019, Dr. Olusegun Phillips-Alonge, kicked against the government policy and described it as a ploy to further exploit the people. He lamented that all the laws that had been made in the nation for the past 20 years were made to take away rights and privileges from the people and to further impoverish them.
“I am against taking the land away from the people because when you take away the land from the people, you take away their source of living; you resist them from being able to use their own God-given land for their own wealth-creating purposes.
“They should be able to wake up and go to your father’s land and be able to do whatever you like there to bring in money so far it is legitimate.”The party chieftain, from Akoko North West council, while officially declaring his political ambition at the state party secretariat, described it as obnoxious because it would worsen the livelihood of the people in respect to the prevailing hunger and hardship in the country.
“When there is a land use act that says you don’t own the land, you cannot use it without a government approval, then you are in trouble. Why? The approval will never come; you know that and I know that,” he said. Phillip-Alonge explained, “no law has empowered us. Just mention one law and I will tell you three or four rights of the people that are taken away through such laws.
“They are prohibition laws. We have to start making laws that will enhance the lives and empower the people in the place of their birth. It is a shame that Nigerians have to travel abroad before they can survive.”
The PDP aspirant stated that his political ambition was to make good legislation for his constituents, saying, “Why can’t we create the same atmosphere for them to survive? Why can’t we enhance the lives of our people through legislation?”
Meanwhile Governor Akeredolu, while launching the Land Use payment system at the office of the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), Oyemekun Model Tax Station, Akure, explained that it would not heap any burden on the people. He disclosed that his government inherited the land use charge law, which he said had been in place since 2014.
According to him, “It is important that we make this very clear to our people. What we are implementing is the land use charge law 2014. It is not a law that came about when we came into office; we are executing a law that has existed before we came into office. “The law is so specific that everybody needs to pay arrears from 2014. The day the law was promulgated, it became binding on us to pay from 2014. But, we look at it and felt that payment of the arrears might cause issues, hence a waiver for 2014, 2015 and 2016.”
The governor reiterated that the policy was not meant to put burden on the people, adding that when a law is there, as a government, it must be implemented and its impacts would be enormous. “We are looking at revenue generation, we are looking at building infrastructure and proper planning. My house, that of the Deputy Governor and those of the exco members have been captured.
“I want to appeal to our people and also thank them for their cooperation. I call on our people to pay the little amount that are charged on their properties. It’s going to be annually.”
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