Angry reactions greet Edo State Government’s plan to enforce land use charges

Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin City | 13 October 2015 | 3,991 times

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Angry reactions have greeted the Edo State Government recently announced plan to exercise its constitutional right to introduce property taxes on land owners in the state.

An Edo State Government spokesman, Nathaniel Osamede, sought to explain the motive behind the planned Land Use Charge. “In light of the present economic realities, government needs to look for more means of generating revenue in order to continue to drive social and infrastructural development in Edo State,” he said on the privately-owned ITV in Benin City.

However, a lot of people who spoke with News Express do not buy the government’s argument.

The general fear is that land owners will simply slam their tenants with higher house rents, and this could lead to massive hardship and even crime as the tenants struggle to meet up with higher house rents.

“What has the government done apart from a few roads constructed, that warrants this land use taxing?” a respondent asked.

In the same phone-in programme with Osamede, a former local government chairman, Mr. John Yakubu, faulted the planned introduction of the Land Use Charge. He said: “The government is not happy that Edo people have not totally been crippled, hence they have decided to make life harder for them. I know the state government will come up with every possible plan to milk the people of their hard earned income.” Osamede doubted that the State Government would use the money accrued from the planned property tax to useful ends for the development of the state.

With massive unemployment in the state and no increase in people’s net income, it is clear to see why the people are scared stiff of the planned land charges in Edo State.

Source: News Express

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