The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has signed two new bills, “The Imo Waste Management Agency” and “Consolidation of Property and Land Use Charges,” as he looks forward to ending the scourge of land usurpers and create jobs in the state.
Uzodinma noted that with the signing of the bill on the waste management agency, he hopes that the indiscriminate dumping of refuse would be a thing of the past, while he emphasized that offenders would be liable to fines and sanctions.
The governor appraised recent developments and the fact that waste management has become serious business and assumed an organized venture.
According to him: “Government will recycle the waste for the purpose of wealth creation,” as he looked forward to the creation of jobs in the sub-sector.
He explained that the Environmental Transmission Commission (ENTRACO) would be creative in the art of Waste Management disposal,” with the new law.
Throwing more light on the inherent capacity to generate revenue, the governor said that the bill, Consolidation of Property and Land Use Charges and other matters, “will take care of those whose duties are to pay land and property charges.”
The law stipulates: “Any occupier of land or landed property in Imo State should pay the land use charges whether he or she is the owner of the land or not as long as the occupier has been there for not less than 10 years. The law states that the owner of the land must pay the land use charges and not the occupier.”
When fully applied, the new law strengthen the hands of enforcers to certify those who are legitimate land occupants and land usurpers in the state, thereby sanitizing land acquisition through proper identification by the owners.
Uzodimma further said that the law makes it compulsory for recertification of Certificate of Occupancy in line with an automated process already in place.
In that regard, he said every Certificate of Occupancy issued from the 60s, the era of the late premier of Eastern Region, Michael Okpara and the Second Republic era of the late Sam Mbakwe as governor of Imo, must be re-certified.
The governor assured of good days of governance ahead, the governor also assured that with the law in place, the illegal acquisition of people’s lands by those in positions of authority without recourse to due process was over.
He commended the members of the State House of Assembly for painstakingly working on the two bills before passage, promising them that, “we will not disappoint your reasonable expectation.”
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr. Chiji Collins, noted that with the assent of the two bills into law, the State Government is empowered to re-certify all the certificates of occupancy issued in past years.
Collins noted that the lands acquired, especially through allocations, would also be looked into in order to ascertain their legality as he urged the administrators to be meticulous and have a better attitudinal disposition.