The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has expressed concern over alleged outrageous demands and notices of multiple taxation in the territory and vowed to put an end to it in line with the ease of doing business, and for the benefit of Abuja residents.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who spoke on Tuesday at a retreat: “Resolving the conflicting issues on tax collections in the FCT”, however, noted that the retreat was one of government’s sustained efforts at providing the platform for building a bigger economy.
Aliyu acknowledged the acrimony between the FCT Administration and the Area Council authorities as it relate to the collection of levies, rates, charges and other demands, however, affirming that the administration was not unmindful of the position of the constitution as the supreme law of the country in the discharge of this essential function of government.
She also assured that efforts are in place to further fine-tune the constitutional provisions especially with respect to the status of Abuja as the seat of the federal government, adding that the authorities are doing everything possible within the confines of the law to reaching an amicable agreement with the political leaders in the area councils in areas of misunderstanding.
The Minister further stated that in the spirit of ease of doing business the FCT Administration welcomes any initiatives that would open the door for investments, create job opportunities and optimally utiliszed the God-given resources which the Federal Capital Territory is blessed with.
While appealing to residents for their support by committing to regular payment of taxes and charges due for services, she, however, stressed that the administration and indeed the six Area Councils, could hardly achieve any development without the payment of taxes, levies and charges on services being rendered.
Aliyu assured chairmen of the six Area Councils of the readiness of her office to collaborate with them for a mutual desire to make life better for residents at the grassroots in the interest of good governance.
Similarly, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade
Adesola, noted that the imposition and collection of tax revenues was a constitutional obligation that binds the citizens and their leaders and provides the needed resources for progressive national development.
Adesola, hinted that collection of tax revenues in the FCT to a large extent are being undertaken in a brigand fashion, thus inflicting mental and physical torture on the citizens.
His words; “We can easily recall and relate to the viral but avoidable incident where customers were locked inside a restaurant in the FCC by overzealous Area Council’s revenue officials; a situation that gravely caused serious embarrassment to the government.
“The more friendly our businesses environment is, the more we will be able to attract investments that will in turn result to higher tax revenue. The corollary will undermine our revenue generation efforts to the detriment of all,” Adesola affirmed.