Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has appealed to Delta state government to as a matter of urgency implement the law against illegal and forceful collection of levies also known as community development fees or ‘deve’ from public and private developers in the state.
It would be recalled that Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa assented to the bill titled “Delta State Public and Private Properties Protection Bill 2018’ by August last year.
The bill is to criminalize the illegal and forceful collection of levies from public and private developers in the state.
Speaking to newsmen at Asaba, Delta state, Onuesoke said since the governor signed the bill into law Delta communities are still indulging in illegal and forceful collection of levies from private and public developers.
He stated that they are still indulging in the illegal activities because the government has not implemented the law in total or come out with penalty to punish anyone found violating the law.
The PDP Chieftain stated that harassment of developers particularly by youths under the guise of collecting illegal fees often times chase away investors who are ready to do business in the state.
He further argued that a situation where an investor is asked to pay certain amount of money to some group of people in a community before he is allowed to set up a company or structure is fraudulent, retrogressive and not to the best interest of the development of communities and the state.
The former governorship aspirant maintained that beside scaring away investors, the collection of such illegal dues is responsible for thuggery, assassination and communal warfare as those involved clashed among themselves as they scramble to take control of the area so that they would be in position of collecting the illegal dues.
He added that the collection of the illegal dues is responsible for the laziness and lackadaisical attitude of Delta youths as they sit in their make shift offices waiting to collect the illegal dues instead of thinking of how to be creative or search for legitimate means to earn a living.
Onuesoke observed that collection of such illegal dues had also increased the cost of executing projects by individuals, government and private organizations, adding that the end result is that the poor masses are made to suffer as the expenses are transferred to them in form of increases in house rents and other sundry charges.
“If the law is fully implemented with penalty it will scare those involved from participating in the obnoxious act.
This, according to him, will create room for investors to invest in the state which will lead to generation of employment and other business opportunities. The end result is that it will reduce crime to the bearest,” Onuesoke stated.