The owners and operators of recreational facilities in Abuja have been upset by the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s (FCTA) decision to enforce the Park Policy, which mandates that all nightlife revelers leave parks at 7 o’clock in the evening. They have bemoaned the loss of revenue.
Around 8:14 p.m., the well-known Eden Garden in Jabi saw the start of the enforcement, which subsequently spread to the Deli Restaurant and Garden in Wuse Zone 4, the Par Excellence Waterfalls and Park in Wuse Zone 5, the Unity Global Garden in Wuse Zone 4, and the Grillzhut Garden. At City Park in Wuse II, it came to an end.
Most of the locations were still filled with nightlife enthusiasts and customers seated around their pleasure tables in various clusters, but they reluctantly left when the enforcement squad arrived and interrupted their groove.
Madam Winners Wokoma who runs a sit out restaurant at the Eden Garden, said her losses due to the policy would be enough to send someone to the grave, but will comply with the orders.
Also, a Manager at the elites City Park, Wuse II, Micheal Akogwu said he opted to close exactly at 7pm in compliance with the directives to avoid troubles from the government.
While adding that the revenue losses in the Park is very colossal, considering different segments that offer unique services with their attractive selling points.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Comrade Ikharo Attah said enforcing the policy was not meant to kill people’s businesses, but to instill a sense of sanity to the parks and recreation sector.
He, however, regretted that the good intentions of the administration in allocating parks and gardens has been abused , he called for understanding and compliance.
He, therefore, assured that the administration will continue to dialogue with owners and operators of parks, to fine tune the processes, to ensure seamless implementation.
According to him: ” We came out this night for advocacy enforcement, we have gone round some gardens to ensure compliance to FCTA Park policy 2005 that states that parks should close by 7pm, that is why we appear to be very soft.
” Everyone is concerned about parks operators, we really want them to make money, but we still need orderliness. Parks are not lounges, nightclub and hotels. They have specific guidelines on how they should operate. I think with time, everyone will begin to adjust”.