The push by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike has led to the recovery of N1.9 billion in less than one month from Abuja landowners owing rent.
This development was disclosed by the acting director of the Abuja Geographic Information Systems (AGIS), Isiaku Ndatsu Alfa.
Naija News recalls Wike had vowed to collect ground rent from defaulting owners of landed properties in Abuja.
The minister stated this on Tuesday 5th September while receiving visitors from the ad hoc committee investigating the failure of the Abuja mass transportation scheme.
The former Rivers Governor disclosed that the outstanding ground rent is about N34 billion.
Ground rent is a tax charged by the FCTA on landed properties in the nation’s capital.
Giving an update on the matter, Alfa was quoted by Leadership to have said the AGIS has become a beehive of activities as property owners rush to pay their debts before the deadline issued by the Minister so as to avoid revocation of their property.
The acting director of AGIS said there has been a surge in payment of ground rents since the minister threatened revocation and commenced publication of the debtors.
According to him, after Wike’s order, ground rent earnings rose to N500 million and increased steadily to over N1 billion.
He said by September 17, 2023, ground rents had generated precisely N1.9 billion, and the figure is estimated to double by the end of the month.
While praising Wike for his initiative, Alfa added that the planned introduction of an online payment portal for the collection of ground rents, certificate of occupancy (C of O), and others, transactions would be easier, and more monies collected by AGIS.
“That is the way going forward, and very soon, we can launch that App into the Remita, so the app will have an interface with the Remita.
“This is the first time since the inception of the FCT that we have somebody at the helm of affairs, the FCT minister, who cares about the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“If you do not have revenue or you have dwindling revenues, you might not be able to embark on some capital projects as it were, ever since the honourable minister came in his wisdom.
“I do not want to say he warned but he advised that all property owners within the FCT should make it a point of duty to meet up with their part of the obligations, as far as the ground rent payments are concerned.
“To our amazement, and happiness, there was a surge at the customer service area and that surge also translated into recoveries, in the sense that monies that were being owed are now being paid,” he said.
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