The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in recent times has been on its toes to generate funds to meet their development needs in line with campaign promises to the people.
It is in the light of this that the council chairman, Abdullahi Adamu Candido has set machineries in place to boost its revenue profile, but in most of the cases he has met a brick wall of opposition as observed with the tenement rate issue.
In a recent exclusive chat with the council’s Chief Revenue Officer, Danladi Awaje, he related their frustrations to The AUTHORITY that their statutory revenue generating avenues were being blocked or taken over, making it difficult for them to generate enough revenue to meet the campaign promises of Hon. Candido who he said was determined to deliver democracy dividends to the people of AMAC.
He narrated that the previous administration signed an MoU, but that it was no longer in their interest.
He stated: “Though government is a continuum, meaning that every government is supposed to continue with what he met on ground, but if what you inherited is not in the best interest of the public and of governance, then its better you have a rethink. The bottom line is, it is detrimental to what you want to do.
“As far as we can understand, the Mou was signed by coercion, the administration then was intimidated by the then FCT Administration, also at that time Federal Allocations were regular and enough. Today the story is different, the resent administration of the area council is not receiving allocations as at when due.
If we receive the kind of allocation the previous administration was receiving, we will have tremendous development. When this government came into power, for three consecutive months, our allocation was in minus, so there is the need to think outside the box now to generate the needed funds for development.”
Similarly, AMAC officials and estate owners recently had a parley on the need to pay tenement rate.
Hon. Lawrence Onuchukwu, Vice Chairman of AMAC told them of the need to pay tenement rates for the purpose of development of the council.
While appealing to the estate owners to key into the new policy of payment for tenement rates in AMAC, the Vice Chairman maintained that it is the right of the council to collect tenement rates from owners of the estates, as stipulated in the constitution.
Onuchukwu assured that as soon as they commence the collection, the council will equally commence looking into the various development challenges of the estates: “As soon as the council starts collecting tenement rates from the various estate owners, AMAC will equally commence addressing the various challenges facing the estates.”
However, in her contribution, Chairman, Value View Estate, Apo-Dutse, Mrs. Folashade Ilori stated that initially her estate had no access roads, but through the efforts of residents of the area, access roads were constructed. She therefore wondered why AMAC should be asking for tenement rates when the entire development burden was on the owners and residents.
Also, speaking on behalf of EFAB Estate, Kayode Adebayo called on AMAC to first of all ensure that people living in housing estates within the council live better lives, before asking them to pay tenement rates.
Adebayo pointed out the challenges in the estates to be in the area provision of water, electricity, roads, sanitation and even security.