January 10, 2023

Ease of Doing Business: Stakeholders lament challenge of securing title documents, double taxation in Ogun

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By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

A group, ‘Egba Economic Summit’ (EES) has lamented the difficulties in procuring title documents on the landed property by prospective investors, who may want to invest in the State.

The group equally said the issue of multiple taxations by government agencies had resulted to the dearth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the State, calling on the government to eliminate multiple taxations for small business owners to thrive.

Speaking on the behalf of Egba Economic Summit, the Head, the Finance Directorate, Gbenga Adeoye said the inability of private investors to procure title documents for their properties, made it impossible for intending investors to obtain a loan facility from banks.

He, therefore, called on the state government to remove all the bottlenecks that discourage investors from moving to the state.

Adeoye while briefing newsmen shortly after the 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Egba Economic Summit blamed the government’s stringent conditions for procuring official title documents as reasons many investors are relocating to other states.

He said, “What is obtainable in Egbaland in Ogun Central is what is obtainable across the country. At the Egba Economic Summit, part of what we want the government to do is the ease of doing business”.

“Number one is the title document for land and property. Sometimes, you can process this for decades and you won’t get it. It appears that there is no specific procedure that people adhere to, you go around, pay and at the end of the day, you don’t get what you want”.

“So, the title document is key. When people don’t have title documents on their property, they cannot take loan facilities. The second thing is multiple taxations. It’s also a problem for business people in Ogun Central, Ogun State and Nigeria”.

“We want to appeal to government to see what it can do by eliminating multiple taxation, especially for small scale businesses that ordinarily they don’t need to be stressed up”.

“The federal government should join hands with the State government to address. As the state government is addressing the issue, the federal government should also do the same”.

“When you look at the challenge we have in SMEs, there is no power supply. Everybody has resolved to buy generator and the price of diesel has gone up. Now, I don’t think there is any house around with water. Everyone has to dig borehole for themselves”.

“Not only that. The issue of security is something that in past, you are sure that there is police patrol. Government needs to up their game such that when you are doing your business, your headache is reduced. You’re not bothering about security, you don’t need to hire private security guard”.

“Other infrastructure like power, we need to do something about it. The federal government has liberalised power generation and distribution. State governments can actually invest into some of this independent power project and distribute.”

On his part, the EES President, Chief Adeshina Luwoye disclosed that the group would embark on inter-school debates among secondary school pupils in the Egba zone to inculcate moral values among the youths.

Luwoye who spoke on the theme of this year’s AGM: “The Future Is Now”, stressed that the group would reinvigorate the reading culture and instill moral discipline among the youths through academic  interventions.

He said, “We have programmes that the AGM has approved that have to be implemented this year. One of them is inter-school debate among secondary schools in Egbaland.

“Who are the icons that our youths are looking up to? They are musicians and area boys that have been promoted to active roles in the political area. But rather, that is not in the character of the Egba people. So, the inter-school debate is to bring back that era where you are recognized and rewarded for your intellectual capacity.

“You see our youths today become glorified Okada riders; we see our children doing Yahoo; that’s not the future we want for our people. That’s why we want to bring back that culture where children can be on radio, and television to show that they really got talent and they can also be rewarded for engaging in intellectual activity.”