By Godwin Egba Special Correspondent, Port Harcourt
Ovie Ogbon Ogoni-Oghoro I, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom (middle), with his chiefs during his installation as the first Royal Canon of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Ughelli Diocese, Delta State…recently.
Rivers State government has rolled out its social services levy machinery to begin collection of the levy from different identified sectors of revenue earners in the state. The implementation of the controversial levy two weeks ago was followed with formal inauguration of a 14-man Board of trustees by the governor at the government brick-house even though there is a current litigation hanging on the contributory levy law.
Heading the board is a former managing director of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Pastor Shygle Wigwe, who would among other functions formulate policies that would enhance collection of levy as well as ensure that the fund is equitably applied for the benefit of the state.
Payment of the levy is mandatory for all persons who live, work or do business in the state except pensioners and unemployed persons.
The Rivers State Social Service Contributory Levy Law was enacted by the State House of Assembly and assented to by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on September 2, 2010.
According to its sponsors, monies collected under the law are to be used to Fund the free education programme in primary and secondary school; fund scholarship for the pursuit of academic excellence in tertiary institution; provide and improve medical facilities in government hospitals and health centre; provide free medical care for residents in the state in state-owned hospitals and health centres; support other essential social services approved by the state executive council; and meet operational and administration cost as approved by the board of trustees.