By Simon Ebegbulem
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole, Saturday, signed into law, Edo Property Tax Bill, with a warning to the rich that they would be sent to jail if they failed to comply with the new law.
Oshiomhole, who used the opportunity to react to the insinuation in some quarters that the law will further impoverish the poor, said it was misleading, explaining that the law is targeted at the rich with a view to providing basic amenities for the poor.
His words: “The rich will prefer that taxation be abolished because they have enough money even to build private homes, private roads, and buy private jets and so on. But I am not apologetic that this government is determined to tax the rich and the very rich so that we can provide for the poorest of the poor. Every enlightened rich man will appreciate that it is in his own interest that government provides for the poor.
“So when people say that this law is targeted at some persons, I say yes. The law is targeted at those who are taxable, those who have property and that includes myself. I need to pay tax so that when I am not in government, government will have the resources to provide those things that they need to provide for Edo to make progress. I am very appreciative for the support which I have continued to enjoy from the people of Edo and I promise I will never abuse that trust.
“The outcome of the last election has humbled me and I am committed to give my all. No body is above the law. I have the duty to remind those who feel they are above the law, they are not. If the governor is not above the law no one is. Government must protect the weak, we must be just. This government will not victimize any body even under provocation, but no one will be too big to be dealt with if he violates the law.”