.Ondo

— As state, councils share N137m Land Use Charges

Dayo Johnson Akure

The Federal Government has ranked Ondo state first in its rating of the 36 states of the Federation in Public Sector Accounting Procedures.

This was contained in the current report on the Monitoring and Evaluation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Implementation released by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

A release by the Ondo state commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo said that the report has already been sent to the World Bank in readiness for yet-to-be-specified funds as a grant to Ondo.

Ojogo said that “Mr Governor has already been briefed in writing by the State Auditor General for Local Governments via a letter dated June 24, 2021. Interestingly, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning had since sent it to the World Bank in readiness for the grant.

“It is a very commendable development that attests to government’s transparency”, he said.

The report, titled: “Report On The Monitoring And Evaluation Of The Level Of Implementation Of IPSAS Accrual Basis Of Accounting By Public Sector Entities(PSEs) In Nigeria” covers the 774 local governments across the states as well as the Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The survey and rating exercise was undertaken by a team from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning late last year with a focus on the following areas: the constitution of IPSAS implementation committee as approved in the governance structure, training of officers on an accrual basis of accounting and setting up of stock-taking team in line with the National Treasury Circular issued in 2015.

Others include identification and documentation of PPE and liabilities, domestication of the National chart of accounts for accounting and budgeting processes, the commencement of IPSAS accrual basis by the PSEs effective from 1st of January, 2016 and; preparation and presentation of accrual-based GPFS.

Meanwhile, the Ondo State government has shared a total of N137 million revenue which accrued from the Land Use charges as well as Radio and Television license in the last six months to the 18 council areas of the state.

Each of the local governments got N2.250 million after the money was shared while the state government got N94 million.

Chairman of Ondo State Internal Revenue Service, Tolu Adegbie said generated through the land use charge, courtesy of the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service.

Adegbie said that “We shared about N100 million in 2019, and we shared about N200 million in 2020 and a half 2020, we shared another formula then was that the local governments will get 20 per cent while the state government gets 80 per cent but last year, Mr Governor graciously approved the increase in the local governments share to 30 per cent.

“So we implemented it in December last year”. Since we started this year, from January to June, we have collected N137 million and local government is getting N40 million while the state government is getting N94 million and off course ODIRS is getting 2.5 million”.

The chairman noted that the biggest collection came from Akure South Local Government, stressing that most of the civil servants reside in the state capital.

Adegbie noted that the money belongs to the local governments and the state and all the 18 local governments have met and decided to share the money on the basis of equality.

“Also we are in partnership with the local governments in other areas notably in the area of Radio and TV collection and from December 2020-June 2021, we have generated N16 million and for taxi and bus ticket sales, we shared N13 million.

“It means that between January and June 2021, ODIRS has been able to generate N69.6 million for the local governments in the state which some has been shared.

“What led to the increase is all about more awareness. A lot of people are now aware of land use and they’ve seen that the money is not much and they are willingly coming to pay and most people are paying for three to four years.

“If all the civil servants alone can pay, our income would have been far better than this.

He added that “There are sanctions in the 2014 land use charge for those who fail to pay the land use charge but it is not economically viable to go to court for land use charge of N20,000.

Adegbie said that ” the cost of consulting a lawyer, going to court every day and other things, so it is better for people to pay willingly and we charge them to do so because this is not supposed to be a punitive thing.”

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