To pave way for accelerated development, the Delta State Government has expressed its resolve to fully implement the Public and Private Properties Protection Law also known as ”anti-deve” law that proscribed forceful entry into development sites, illegal collection of development levies and extortion by thugs.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Peter Mrakpor made this known on Friday during a meeting he had with Petroleum Depot operators in the State at the Government House liaison Office, Warri.
He assured property developers and investors in the state of the full implementation of the law that prohibits forceful entry and collection of development levies by touts, saying that offenders will be prosecuted.
Mr. Peter Mrakpor who was meeting with the Tank Farm owners in company of the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Community Development, Hon. Innocent Esewezie to resolve complaints of double taxation and other irregularities faced by the operators in the state in the hands of different MDAs in charge of revenue collection and their agents, said that the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration was not resting on its oars in providing a business friendly environment for investors to operate.
He stressed the need for the oil depot owners to have a bogus Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) agenda for its host communities as part of their contributions to support government in providing social amenities to the people.
Speaking further, the Justice Commissioner advised the operators of the petroleum depots to comply with the local content act by providing skilled and unskilled employment for youths in their area of operation even as he called on them to take government along when carrying out their Corporate Social Responsibility to their host communities.
Barr. Mrakpor who received complaints from the operators on the need for government to harmonize revenue bills sent to them on environmental fees, tenement rates, business premises registration and renewal, fire certificates, waste disposal and treatment Plant permit, promised to consider their observations while undertaking the amendment of the revenue laws of the state.
The Oil depot operators appealed to the Attorney-General to assist them to resolve the conflict arising from double taxation by various agencies of government. They said their companies received bills from Ministry of Environment and its agencies; Delta state Environmental Protection Agency and Waste Management Board, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industries as well as from the Local Government Councils.
While assuring them that government will look at their demands, the Delta AG charged Petroleum Depot operators not to pay revenue into any other account other than dedicated government revenue accounts through the Board of Internal Revenue.
The operators who expressed confidence and satisfaction on how the Attorney-General piloted the meeting, disclosed their desire for further engagement and collaboration with the State Government.
In an interview, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Community Development, Hon. Innocent Esewezie reechoed the significance of the parley with the Oil marketers and condemned the issue of double taxation which he said will be handled by the Office of the Attorney-General in order to foster more robust industrial relations with investors in the state.