N10bn Debt: FCTA Seals Ministry of Works, Federal Character Commission
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has sealed the Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in Abuja.
The action was carried out on Tuesday morning following an earlier warning over N10 billion debts owed to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
The Director of AEPB, Mr Osilama Briamah, said the board was providing waste management and other environmental services to the defaulting MDAs while they refused to pay, explaining that the agency has a huge amount laying without a response from the defaulters.
“We tried 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 seriously, the board then resorted to legal means to recover the debts and secured court orders to seal the premises,” he said.
According to him, the exercise, which has just begun, will cover all public and private offices owed to the board.
A senior magistrate court sitting in Wuse II, Abuja had served the defendants with a summons to appear before the court on March 30, 2022, but they failed to honour the court.
The breakdown of the debts showed that the Federal Ministry of Education owed N25,838,275, the Federal Ministry of Defence –N17,220,775.00 and the 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.
The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the Minister of FCT, Mr 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 extreme debts owed the board.
Mr Attah stated that the FCT Administration was worried about the high amount being owed FCTA.
“FCT Administration needs enough funds 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 tie-down, is wrong for people not to pay for services rendered,” he said.