By Chinelo Obogo
The Plateau State Government has embarked on statewide revenue drive to improve the revenue base of the state to enable government meet up with its responsibilities.
This was stated by the Plateau State Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Yakubu Dati at the stakeholders engagement held in Jos. Dati identified five priority areas: numeration of properties, recertification of titles, standardisation of conversion of titles from customary to statutory and issuance of demand notice for payment of ground rent.
In a keynote address, Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University, Professor Yohana Izam, who spoke on “Efficient Land Administration and Revenue” charged the ministry to simplify access to titles as a leadway to improved revenue.
In her remarks, former chairman of Federal Inland Revenue, Mrs. Ifeako Okauru, urged stakeholders to educate themselves with the Consolidated Revenue Law and to see payment of taxes, rates and fees as a civic responsibility.
In their various submissions the representatives of association of Estate Surveyors, Builders, Private School proprietors, NBA, Organised Private Sector and other stakeholders pledged to support the initiative.
The Secretary of the Government of the state, Prof. Danladi Atu, the Chief of Staff, Noel Donjur and Chairman of Plateau State Economic Team, Nde Ezekiel Gomos commended the ministry for bringing professionals and clients of the ministry under one roof to brainstorm on the way forward for the growth and development of the state through increased revenue generation.
In his remarks, His Royal Majesty, The LongTehl, Donald Puntehl said traditional rulers will continue to play their roles as mediators of customary land owners and government, while the permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Ambrose Allaburah said land based revenue has been identified as the new black gold of the 21st century, owing to the dwindling income generated from crude oil occasioned by alternative energy sources such as solar and biofuel which is eroding the dependence hitherto placed on crude oil.