A Legal practitioner in Lagos, Mr Francis Ogunbowale, on Wednesday, criticised the state government for introducing a N1,000 compulsory Proof of Ownership Certificate, (POC) levy on vehicles.
Reacting on the levy, Ogunbowale, member of NBA-Public Interest and Development Law, described it as another form of double taxation.
Ogunbowale, a , spoke in reaction to the recent announcement of N1,000 annual POC verification of vehicles.
Recall that the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation,on June 27, announced at a press conference, that the state government had begun verification of vehicles for the annual POC.
The government had defended the policy, saying it would enhance transparency, security and accountability within the transportation network.
LASG added that it would streamline and enhance the process of vehicle ownership verification.
It noted that the verification would serve as official documentation for the legal owners of vehicles
In his reaction, Ogunbowale said thepolicy is strange and shocking, come on the eve of Sallah celebration.
He said where details of a vehicle had not changed, the new payment was unnecessary and amounted to double taxation.
“What obtains before now is that where the information of a vehicle did not change, payment for POC verification annually will be grossly unnecessary and exploitative.
“It will amount to double taxation in the face of payment for vehicle license that is renewable every year.
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“The National Road Traffic Regulation No. 101, Vol. 99, 2012 (as amended), did not provide for any payment or verification of POC every year.
“It is under this law that the Joint Tax Board introduced payment of annual POC renewal,” he said.
According to him, the state government justification for this payment also does not add up.
“A one-off payment for POC with data, stored in the computer hardware of the Ministry of Transport platform, is capable of promoting transparency and accountability within the transportation network.
“Rather than overburden the vehicle owners with additional N1,000 annual payment, the government can enhance the already existing vehicle ownership verification strategy.
“It can do this by deploying simple technology and hardware, which transport officers can use for verification through mobile gadgets
“This is what obtains in done in other climes.”
Ogunbowale said there was nothing wrong in the official documentation of a legal owner of a vehicle through the issuance of custom papers and Vehicle License.
“These usually contain particulars of both the owner and the vehicle.
“POC should not be an annual payment, except government deliberately wants to increase IGR at all costs,” he said.
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