Gov Dickson Assents To 3 New Bills To Create Institutions For Effective Governance Of Bayelsa State


Land and property owners in Bayelsa State would soon pay appropriate levies in line with the administration's tax policies geared towards improving the revenue base of the state.

Governor Seriake Dickson announced this while signing 3 bills into law at a special edition of the administration's monthly Transparency Briefing marking the second anniversary of the government.

The new laws are, Bayelsa State Investment Promotion, Bureau for Development Cooperative and Bayelsa Anti Corruption Amendment, which brings the total number of laws to 37 aimed at creating institutions for effective governance of progress of the state.

Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), were also issued to Governor Dickson and his deputy, Retired Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah.

On the Property Tax, Governor Dickson explained that the essence of Government's tax policies was to create wealth and a sustainable economy that is not dependent on revenue from oil and gas.

He expressed Government's determination to make Bayelsa self-sustaining particularly in the payment of salaries without relying on proceeds from the Federal Allocation, stressing that in due course the people would stand to benefit from Government's diversification programme.

The Governor, who also commissioned the offices of the State Geographic Information System Agency, explained that, the Bayelsa Geographic Information System, BGIS is a one-stop shop for handling all title matters, which will go a long way in protecting the people's investments in land and other valuable property, noting that, land is the foundation of all development.

“With the BGIS Law in place, you have to be prepared to pay property tax. BGIS is one stop shop for all title matters. Every land transaction must be consummated within 60 days.

In another development, Governor Dickson launched the registration of Tax Identification Number, (TIN) as part of efforts of government's revolutionary revenue drive.

Noting that experts were working on the law that would harmonize all revenue legislations in the state, with the aim of ensuring that taxable persons were captured both in the formal and informal sectors.

Acknowledging the challenges in the informal sector, the Governor directed that inter-ministerial teams work together to ensure that all taxable adults in the state were captured for tax purposes to aid development.

“Our teams are working on the law that will harmonize all revenue legislations in the state with the intention of ensuring that every person that is taxable in this state is captured. For the formal sector, we have done a lot but for the informal sector, we know that the challenges are there”

He therefore solicited the cooperation of all as the success of the administration depended largely on the support from the people.

Giving some insight into the tax identification number, Executive Chairman of the state Internal Revenue Board, Mr. Godson Torukuru said the scheme was a collaborative effort between the state and federal governments to shore up the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.

He also highlighted the benefits accruable from the tax identification initiative which include, access to free medical services for some categories of persons, obtaining Government contracts, driving license, international passports and will aid the processing of land documents among others.

In his contribution, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Treasury and Accounts, Mr. Timipre Seipulo, said the total IGR has improved as it increased from N4 billion to N10 billion within last year.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State