“Lockdown: Tenants, Business Owners must be granted Tax, Rent Relief”

By: Ade Adeleke

A Nongovernmental Organization, the Ondo State Chapter of Tax Justice and Governance Network, has sought government’s intervention in granting tax payers relief at this emergency period of COVID-19 lockdown.

The Network also urged government to prevail on landlords and property owners to inject palliatives for their shop, house and office tenants to overcome the effects of COVID-19 lockdown

The organisation made the call in a
press release signed by Coordinator, Olakunle Oyegoke and the Secretary, Adeosun J.O.J and made available to SUNSHINETRUTH by the Ondo State Tax Justice And Governance Platform on COVID-19 Response on 6th of May 2020 in Akure.

“While we believe that Government need more money to meet up with the expectation of the people of which Taxes, Levies, Rates are means for Government at all levels to generate income, effort should be made to relieve the Tax Payers at this period particularly so, that all business and transaction have been paralyzed and mostly affected by the lockdown.

“Government need to be informed that the burden of payment of rent in all Business Premises, Shops and Market Places which are mostly paid yearly by the Occupants not minding the fact that business were not allowed to take place in these places falls on the Occupants.

“The above and several other challenges faced by these business men could abruptly terminate such businesses.

“Conscious effort should be made to reaching out to Landlords and property owners to equally ensure the injection of palliative in the collection of their rents with respect to the current situation of things globally,” the organisation said.

Below is the full text of the press statement;

PRESS RELEASE BY THE ONDO STATE TAX JUSTICE AND GOVERNANCE PLATFORM ON COVID- 19 RESPONSE IN ONDO STATE ON 6TH OF MAY 2020 IN AKURE

The Ondo State Chapter of Tax Justice and Governance Network sincerely appreciate all measures and actions embarked upon so far by the Government of Ondo State to stem the tide and control the spread of COVID -19 pandemic in our communities, towns and villages.

We also wish to commend all Stakeholders and all the people of Ondo State on their level of compliance and understanding in spite of the challenges and inconveniences.

Going forward therefore, we wish to appeal to the generality of the people to adhere strictly to all measures put in place which include:

1.Frequent washing of hands for at least 20 seconds under running water

2.Using of hand sanitizer
3.No hugging
4.Limited visiting
5.No handshakes
6.Mandatory wearing of nose mask in public places
7.Physical Distancing
8.Stopping of all forms of group contact exercise.

In other to curtail, as the process of finding lasting and scientific cure to end this scourge is on.

However, we are mostly concerned with the economic implication and the untold hardship brought on the people particularly the vulnerable, underserved, socially excluded and marginalized member of the society and we request that additional effort should be made to alleviate the suffering.

While we believe that Government need more money to meet up with the expectation of the people of which Taxes, Levies, Rates are means for Government at all levels to generate income, effort should be made to relieve the Tax Payers at this period particularly so, that all business and transaction have been paralyzed and mostly affected by the lockdown.

Government need to be informed that the burden of payment of rent in all Business Premises, Shops and Market Places which are mostly paid yearly by the Occupants not minding the fact that business were not allowed to take place in these places falls on the Occupants.

The above and several other challenges faced by these business men could abruptly terminate such businesses. Conscious effort should be made to reaching out to Landlords and property owners to equally ensure the injection of palliative in the collection of their rents with respect to the current situation of things globally.

It is our resolve that Ondo State Government should put in place a COVID 19 Palliative Monitoring Team that will include members of CSOs, Faith Leaders, Nigeria Bar Association, NUT and Trade Unions, this will allow for objective reporting and to ensure effective and evenly distribution of palliatives to the targeted beneficiaries.

We want to see a Government that will be inward looking, research oriented and mobilizing local content in fighting the scourge, more importantly, that the lockdown might not be the most effective measure.

We enjoin our security operatives to be more professional, patriotic and obey the clarion call in areas of movement within our borders to forestall further spread of the virus.

The COVID 19 pandemic is a global challenge and require all hands irrespective of political lining and take advantage of the challenges for further economic and scientific breakthrough.

With all sense of gratitude, we thank all our health-workers, professionals, security operatives, members of the press, social workers and Non-Governmental Organisation who have so far put their lives at risk to save the citizenry.

While imploring all citizen of Ondo State to stay safe, we urge you to do whatever is needful at all time.

Signed:
Olakunle Oyegoke
Coordinator.
&
Adeosun J.O.J
Secretary

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