By Philip Yatai
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, says owners of landed properties owing the FCT Administration (FCTA) ground rents, amounting to N34 billion would be penalised.
Wike stated this when members of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee Investigating Failure of Mass Transportation in Nigeria, visited him in Abuja on Tuesday.
He warned allottees owing the FCT Administration ground rents to either pay or have their property revoked and reallocated to those who could pay.
“I have calculated the debt of nonpayment of ground rent, which is about N34 billion, and I am going to collect all of those back. I don’t care, all I want is for the rent to be paid,” he said.
The minister said that the list of the people owing FCTA ground rent would be published on Thursday, adding that they would be given two weeks to pay.
According to him, whoever does not pay, his land will be revoked and be given to whoever will pay so that the necessary services will be rendered.
“People want to live in a beautiful city but don’t want to pay their dues which is impossible.”
He said that the decision became necessary following a decision to tie projects to Internally Generated Revenue to enable contractors complete abandoned projects.
Wike complained about the poor budgetary allocation to the FCT and appealed to the lawmakers to assist in improving its budgetary provisions.
The minister also said that he would overhaul the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company (AUMTCO), expressing displeasure that AUMTCO buses were loaned out without maintenance.
Earlier, Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Mr Afam Ogene said that his committee visited the minister to find solutions to epileptic mass transportation in the country and the FCT.
Ogene described the development as “worrisome”, saying that over N16 billion had been invested in mass transportation during the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SUR-P) with little services being rendered.
He expressed relief with the ongoing transformation of the Abuja Light Rail transport system, and traffic lights across the city.
“We are here to encourage you to look into transportation and reorganize it. We will support you to do it and it will also solve problems of one chance in the city,” he pledged. (NAN)
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi