The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has expressed concern over alleged outrageous demands and notices just as the authorities have vowed to put an end to multiple taxation for the benefit of Abuja residents.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, who spoke at a retreat on Tuesday, with the theme, ‘Resolving the conflicting issues on tax collections in the FCT’, noted that the retreat was one of government’s sustained efforts at providing the platform for building a bigger economy.
The minister, who used the occasion to acknowledge 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, affirmed 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.
Aliyu assured that efforts were 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 were doing everything possible within the confines of the law to reach an amicable agreement with the political leaders in the area councils in the areas of misunderstanding.
She said 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 utilised 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.
In his remarks, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade
Adesola, noted that the imposition and collection of tax revenues was a constitutional obligation that is binding on the citizens and their leaders and provides the needed resources for progressive national development.
Adesola noted that collection of tax revenues in the FCT to a large extent is being undertaken in a brigand fashion, thus inflicting mental and physical torture on the citizens.
“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 added.