… Says Ministries Of Health, Education, Defence, Others Next
Officials from the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), escorted by highly armed security personnel, sealed the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing’s headquarters building in Mabushi, Abuja, in the early hours of Tuesday.
The popular murg plaza located just opposite the UTC market at Area 10, Garki, Merit House, and the Federal Character Commission were among the places shut down by FCTA officials, who were armed with court orders.
The operation was conducted by Engineer Osilama Braimah, Director of the Abuja Environment Protection Board (AEPB), who is also the Chairman of the Special Debt Taskforce, and Comrade Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Speaking to newsmen on the breakdown of debt owed the agency, Braimah said
government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are owing to the tune of 10 billion Naira and this, he said is not acceptable.
He, however, hinted that some ministries are making frantic efforts to pay while others show signs of on willingness.
According to him, “The board got court orders to seal the premises” he said.
According to him, the exercise which has just begun will cover all public and private offices owing the board.
A senior magistrate court sitting in Wuse II, Abuja had served the defendants with summons to appear before the court on March 30th, 2022 but they failed to honour the court.
“The debtors includes: Federal Ministry of Works — N9,998,625.00; Federal Ministry of Defence –N17,220,775.00; Federal Character Commission—N10,128,906.25; Civil service Commission–2,451,649.50; and Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission—21,683,750.00
“In addition, Federal Ministry of Health —N14,204,843.75; Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment—N19,222,287.50; Federal Ministry of Education Hqtrs –N25,838,275 ; and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Wuse–N16,583,031.25”, he stressed.
The Director, however, warned the public against attempting to bribe AEPB officials as he urged them to pay into government coffers as stated in the bill they received.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement said the FCT Minister is committed to the full recovery of all funds owed the Administration, its Secretariats departments and Agencies.
According to him, “We are just starting with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, seeing that most offices and persons generate waste and are not willing to pay to the collection and evacuation of such waste. Government establishments are expected to lead by examples. Now that we have started with ourselves, everyone will be certain that there would be no sacred cow.
” The FCT Administration is starting with the debtors of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).Very soon, we will move to the FCT Waterboard, the Abuja Geographic information system (AGIS) and other FCTA revenue generatiing agencies. No one kobo will be left uncollected.
” The FCT as you know is growing beyond expectation and plan. Government must do all to march infrastructure with population growth and expansions. The FCT Administration needs all the money it can get to bridge the infrastructural gap. Our drive for revenue is at its peak at the moment” , he explained.
Attah , however, called on all those who are owing the FCT in whatever way to immediately hurry and pay up, while adding that more public and privately owned properties would be sealed up in coming days and weeks.