The Federal Capital Territory Administration has, in the early hours of Tuesday, sealed the Federal Ministry of Works in Mabushi district, Federal Character Commission, Merit House Maitama, and Murg Plaza over accumulated N10bn debt in waste management fees owed to Abuja Environmental Protection Board.
The Director of the Board, Osilama Briamah, had in a statement on Monday said it would seal up some government offices, hotels, shopping complexes, and residential buildings, among others from Tuesday.
He noted that the board had obtained a court order to embark on the exercise.
The exercise was still ongoing at the time of filing this report.
According to the Director, the AEPB provided waste management and other environmental services to the organisations and they have refused to pay.
Explaining further he said many defaulters were indebted to the Board without plan to fulfil their obligations.
“We try to negotiate to have a better way to achieve results but there was no positive response, we have given them payment plan but many of them refused to take this opportunity serious, the Board then resort to legal means to recover the debts.
“The Board got court orders to seal the premises. The exercise which has just begun will cover all public and private offices owing the Board,”he said.
The senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the Minister of FCT, Ikahro Attah, who led the enforcement, said the operation followed the initiative put together by the minister of FCT and the permanent secretary to recover the debts owed the Board.
Attah stated that the FCT Administration was worried about the high amount being owed FCTA.
“FCT Administration needs enough fund to build infrastructure and keep the city running.
“The administration has decided to go after the Ministries, parastatals, agencies and private individuals. We cannot wait to see government money tied down, is wrong for people not to pay for services rendered.”
A senior magistrate court sitting in Wuse II, Abuja had served the defendants with summons to appear before the court on March 30, 2022 but they failed to honour the court order.
The breakdown of the debts showed that Federal Ministry of Education owed N25,838,275, Federal Ministry of Defence – N17,220,775.00 and Federal Character Commission – N10,128,906.25.
Others include Civil Service Commission – N2,451,649.50, Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission — N21,683,750.00.
Federal Ministry of Health – N14,204,843.75, Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment – N19,222,287.50, Federal Ministry of Works — N9,998,625.00, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Wuse – N16,583,031.25.