By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo
As part of the state’s efforts to increase its revenues, the Government of the state of Osun on Wednesday, launched the Economic Development Levy (EDL) programme, that will make it obligatory for the business owners to pay an approved certain tariffs and rates into the government’s coffers.
Economic Development Levy, EDL, was introduced by the federal government last year, permitting all the states across the federation to increase their Internally Generated Revenue as part of the efforts to find lasting solution to the current economic meltdown.
However, at the official launch of the programme held at the government secretariat, Osogbo, the Acting Chairman of the Osun Internal Revenue Service, OIRS, Prince Dayo Oyebamiji, said EDL is a charge introduced and permitted by law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to increase revenue accruable to state governments in order to meet certain obligations.
Oyebamiji further explained that the levy became imperative following the current economic downturn which was actually caused by the appalling fall in the prices of crude oil over the years.
He noted that, the state government of Osun under the leadership of governor Rauf Aregbesola has brought unprecedented development to the state through the implementation of some praiseworthy projects.
The OIRS Acting Chairman stressed the need for the residents of the state to live up to their civic responsibility through prompt payment of taxes and other constitutional obligations as the compliance remains the only way to sustain the government efforts at turning around the economy fortune of the state.
Oyebamiji stressed that the generation of additional revenue is a key function of levy as this would enable the government to provide qualitative and quantitative services and utilities to its people which he said would serve as a panacea to overcome the recession currently experiencing in the nation’s economy.
According to him, Nigeria’s over dependence on oil revenues has encouraged tax and other levies avoidance and inhibited the development of other sectors of the Nigerian economy including an efficient and effective levy administration system.
While charging shop owners, commercial motorcyclists, commercial drivers, market men and women as well as other residents in the state on the need to comply with the economic development levy of the state government, disclosing that, the agency has recruited a well-trained branded officers who will be moving round the state with Point of Sales PoS machines to fast track quick collection of levies so as to curb multiple and unlawful levy payment,
He said the state government was so lenient to make the levy an affordable rates that base on the quantity of the business, assuring that the introduction of the PoS machines would also bring about the required transparency, accountability and credibility.
Enumerating some of the schedule of the Economic Development Levy rates, Oyebamiji, said all the motorcycles, tricycles and mini buses, popularly called “Korope” would be paying N50 each on daily basis, while taxi and intra-state buses would be paying N100 per day.
He added, “tippers, trailers and other heavy duty trucks would also be made to pay a sum of N200 each daily.
“While shops’ owners, stores, kiosks and market traders both in the urban and rural areas would be charged at the rate of N50 and N20 respectively, just as night operators such as beans cake sellers among others are expected to pay a sum of N50 daily.
Oyebamiji further explained that the artisans such as barbers, Carpenters, Bricklayers, Vulcanizers, Iron Benders, Panel Beaters, Auto Mobile Mechanics among other would be charged N50 on daily basis.
He, therefore, charged the people of the state to comply with the new levy charges, saying by so doing, they have contributed their own quota to the development of the state.
Speaking on behalf of other participants, the Head of the State Market Women popularly known as Iyaloja General, Alhaja Awawu Asidemade, appreciated the state government in its bid to take the state to the greater heights.
Asindemade who described the initiative as a welcome development, said it would help the state government to boost its internally generated revenue and thereby affords the people of the state to continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
She gleefully accepted the programme, noting that, the time has come for any responsible government to look beyond oil revenues by devising productive means of fund generations to cushion the adverse effects of the present economic quagmire.
Alhaja Asindemade, also used the occasion to commend governor Aregbesola for prioritizing the general well being of the citizens through the implementation of various developmental projects across the state.
She canvassed support and collaboration for the present administration, saying there is need for all and sundry to embrace all government’s policies to move the state forward.
While promising to champion sensitization and campaign among the market women in the state over the new policy, Asindemade said it is the high time for all to prioritize the prompt payment of taxes and other levies.
Meanwhile, the occasion had in attendance: the representatives of World Bank, Directors from the OIRS, Market men and women, artisans, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Motorcyclists, tricycle operators among others.