N10bn debt: FCTA to seal up govt offices, hotels

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As workers prepare to resume work after the Easter holiday, some government offices, hotels, plazas and other business facilities may be under lock and key due to debts owed to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).

This is coming on the heels of the task team set up by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, to recover over N10 billion owed the AEPB by several government agencies, business, and residential apartments in the nation’s capital.

The latest development was disclosed by the Director of AEPB, Engr. Osilama Briamah, while addressing newsmen over the weekend.

Briamah said the task team, headed by him, has been mandated to apply all legal means to recover the huge sum of money from the debtors, adding that the debts accrued over time due to the failure of those concerned to pay for services rendered to them by the AEPB.

He said: “All of us desire to live and work in a world-class city compared to other beautiful cities around the world. But we can only do that successfully if we behave as responsible citizens by paying our utility bills especially for solid and liquid waste collection.

“Unfortunately, many agencies, residential apartments, hotels, plazas and so on, are not paying their bills as expected. That makes it difficult to raise the money needed to manage a mega-city like Abuja.

“Beginning from 5:30 am on Tuesday, April 19, based on a court order already obtained by the AEPB, the task team will embark on mass seal-up of these facilities with the aim of recovering the huge money.”

He lamented that the AEPB had made moves to provide soft-landing for the debtors through negotiated settlement but to no avail, adding that the only option left was to apply the legal means by enforcing the court order to seal up the affected facilities.

The AEPB Director, however, said the affected debtors can avoid the impending embarrassment by ensuring prompt payment of their liabilities.

He stated that the payments can be made conveniently through the Remita portal.

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