Benin Chief makes case for payment of tenement rate

Traditional Prime Minister of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase of Benin, has urged residents of Edo State to begin payment of tenement rate as it obtains all over the world.

Chief Igbe said he pays tenement rate for his house in Lagos State and wondered why it is difficult for landlords to pay in Edo State.

He spoke Thursday in Benin City at a stakeholders meeting for tax payers in the state.

Chief Igbe who urged the state government to stop incidences of double taxation and extortion said the state could do without allocations from federal government if residents in the state performed their civic duties.

His words, “Why are we unable to get our people to pay tenement rate. My house I bought with loan as Superintendent of Police, I pay tenement rate for it.

“If Lagos can do without federal government money, Edo state can do better.”

In his address, acting Chairman of the Edo State Internal Revenue Services, Emmanuel Usoh, said several persons caught collecting N46,000 per truck along the Benin-Iguobazuwa road have been arrested.

Usoh argued that Edo State was only adhering to the Federal Tax law and not carrying out a tax system that is punitive and excessive as being canvassed by political opponents.

He noted that the issue of double taxation was because people’s inability to distinguish between taxes and money paid as rates, levies, penalties and fines.

Usoh said the state now earns an average of N1.7bn monthly as Internally Generated Revenue.

His words, “This administration has proved that an effective and efficient tax system is the foundation of good governance. Taxation, is a veritable tool not only for sustainable economic development and democratic consolidation and social stability.”

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