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Ground rent payment not negotiable, says Delta Task Force boss

By Osteen Oyibode, Asaba on 22/07/2015

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Delta State Chairman of Task Force on Ground Rent, Barrister Frank Nwugo, has said that payment of ground rent by owners of landed properties was non negotiable, stating that the task force team had been mobilised and all property owners were bound to comply.

Speaking with journalists in his office on Tuesday, Nwugo said the state government owned all lands and landed property owners are tenants to the government, hence they are to pay ground rent to the state government.

Nwugo said the task force had been mobilized and are moving from house to house and issuing notifications to landlords, adding that landed properties in urban centres are made to pay higher than those in the rural and semi-urban centres.

Responding to the compliance level of Asaba residents, Nwugo said the compliance level was high and that residents were paying the rent to the coffers of the state government, thereby boosting the revenue base of the state government.

He said the state government was determined not to leave any stone unturned in ensuring full compliance to the exercise which he described as long overdue and a necessary ingredient to boost the revenue of the state.

Explaining the legal framework behind the project, Barrister Nwugo said section 24(f) of the 199 constitution as amended, made honest declaration of income and payment of tax mandatory, adding that section 4(6) and 44(2) of same constitution confer on State House of Assembly the power to make law for the imposition or enforcement of any tax, rate or duty.

He noted that relying on the powers conferred on her, the Delta State House of Assembly enacted the Delta State Internal Revenue Consolidation Law 2009, otherwise known as the DSIR 2009 Law.

While saying that the payments of Grand Rent is compulsory as specified in the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued to every land owner, Nwugo stated that the rents is due for payment on the first of January every year, adding that “Failure to pay within 90 days, shall result to lawful revocation of the C of O of the said land by the state government.

“By the provision of section 30, Annexure xxiii/C115 of DSIR law 2009, Delta State is divided into four zones for the purpose of charging premium and other land fees in the state,” Nwugo said.

Putting the records straight, the chairman said that the zone 1 of the classification has Asaba, Warri, and Effurun, while zone 2 has Ibusa, Ogwashi-Uku, Ughelli, Sapele, Agbor, and Abraka.

Zone 3, according to Barrister Nwugo has other local government Headquarters in the state excluding Aboh and Isiokolo while Zone 4, he explained, has Aboh, Isiokolo and other towns in the state.

Under the classification, buildings/land for agricultural purposes would pay lesser than residential, religious, recreational and Commercial/Industrial buildings.

The reason, Nwugo further explained, was hinged on the uncompromising position by the state government to continue to encourage agriculture and agro businesses in the state which he opined is critical in driving the Delta Beyond Oil vision of the present administration in the state.

Source News Express

Posted 22/07/2015 03:52:29 AM


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