By John Kayode
An Okada rider, Temitope Samuel has emerged winner of Star prize of Ondo State Internal Revenue Services (ODIRS) raffle draw for Motorcycle (Okada) riders .
Samuel won motorcycle TVS plus HLX valued at about 520,000, with free insurance ,free number plate,free one -year license and renewal of driver’s license.
Prizes won by other riders include ; bag of rice, standing fan, Semovita, pack of indomie, groundnut oil and other items.
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, while flagging off the raffle draw at the Revenue House Alagbaka,Akure, assured motorcycle riders in the state of government commitment to create an enabling environment for their operations.
He said the raffle draw was in the pursuit of it’s administration to give back to the society in an annual event.
Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, commended the high level of compliance of commercial motorcycle (Okada) riders in buying their tickets and contributing to the development of Ondo State.
Akeredolu said: “Taking us back to the memory lane when we came on board, Okada collection in the state was about Four Hundred Thousand Naira in a month (N4.8Million in a year).
“In 2018, we were able to generate N350Million. In 2019, the state generated over N538 Million, 2020 (with the COVID-19 pandemic), we were able to get over N660Million, in year 2021 we made over N750Million.
“This led to the invitation of commercial motorcycle Riders to this hall last year where they were gifted various items ranging from gas cylinder to different sizes of Generating sets to appreciate their commitment.”
“Here comes 2022 again, the collection from Year To Date is over Eight Hundred Million Naira (N800M) on their account. This is indeed a noticeable and remarkable feat”.
“It is in the light of the foregoing that we decided to give back to our riders in seven Local Government Areas namely Akure South, Akure North, Akoko South West, Idanre, Okitipupa, Ondo West and Owo for a job well done within the course of the year. We believe this is indeed an encouraging development and a positive reinforcement to the outstanding local governments in Ondo State.”
The Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Services (ODIRS),Mr Tolu Adegbie, in a chat with newsmen, said they had increased the state’s IGRin Okada from the initial 4.8million to about 1bilion naira annually.
Adegbie added that “before this current administration came onboard, the state generate N400,000 monthly from Okada riders which translated to 4.8 million in a year.
“When we started in 2018, we generated about N300,000,000, in 2019 we generated N500,000,000, in 2020 during COVID-19, we also generated 600,000,000, N700,000,000 and N800,000,000 was generated in 2021 and 2022 despite the fact that we still have a month to end the year.”
The ODIRS boss added that since 2018 till date that they have been able to embark on Community Impact Project (CIP) which include, grading of over 12 roads in Akure south, Akure North, Odigbo, Ondo West local governments , with the promise of extending the gesture to other LGs.
According to him, “we donated one million, three hundred and sixty thousand naira to empathize with the vulnerable citizens and support government activities during COVID-19 outbreak .
“We have also supported over 50 entertainment shows in Akure south and many other corporate social responsibilities (CRS)”,he said .
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale urged the Okada riders to ensure they operate within the confine of law.
The Stars prize winner, Temitope Samuel thanked God and the Ondo State Government for the unexpected gift, promising to be consistent with his ticket collection.
Samuel said: “I was overwhelmed with joy. I never dreamt that I will become owner of Okada, I bought the one I’m using on instalment .
“For me to be picked from the multitude was not my making but grace of God. I’m not the oldest or the most qualified but this is what is called unmerited favour from the above.
“Within a twinkle of an eyes, I’m now owner of two motorcycle, in the next two months I will pay off the “Okada” I bought on instalment. I will give one out to some to be working for me while I will be hustling with this new one”.