The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and owners/residents of various housing estates in the area council, at the weekend, failed to reach an agreement on the conditions for payment of tenement rates to the council.
Speaking during an interaction between AMAC officials and residents/owners housing estate in AMAC, the vice chairman of the council, Hon. Lawrence Onuchukwu had told the gathering that the meeting was meant to carry them along as the council prepares to commence the collection of tenements rate from estates owners.
Onuchukwu said that the owners/residents of various housing estates within AMAC are critical stakeholders in the implementation of policies and programmes of the council, adding that it was the reason for that the interaction, which is to enable them reach a common ground on the collection of tenement rate.
While appealing to the estate owners to key into the new policy of payment for tenement rate in AMAC, the vice chairman also maintained that it is the right of the council to collect tenement rate from occupants of the estates, as stipulated in the Constitution.
“We are here to discuss with the estate owners on the issue of tenement rates payment. The issue of tenement has been with the estate owners and AMAC. Let me remind ourselves that it is the right of the council to collect tenement rates,” he said.
He therefore promised that as soon as the council starts collecting tenement rate from the various estate owners/residents, AMAC will equally commence addressing the various challenges facing the estates.
However in her reaction, chairman, Value View Estate, Apo-Dutse, Mrs. Folashade Ilorin told the gathering that initially her estate had no access roads, but through the efforts of residents of the area, access roads were constructed.
Ilorin wondered why AMAC should be asking residents of the estate to pay for tenement even when the council is yet to put in place any infrastructure in the estate.
Chairman, EFAB Estate, Mbora, Kayode Adebayo in his contribution, called on AMAC to first of all ensure that people living in housing estates within the council live better lives, before asking them to pay for tenement rate.
Adebayo pointed out that AMAC has never made any impact on lives of people living in the estates, especially in the areas of provision of water, electricity, roads, sanitation or even security.
He stated that it is barbaric for any agency of government to insist on collection of revenue from where it never invested anything, adding that the council should be more concerned about provision of infrastructure in the estates.