House Restores Power to Collect Tenement Rates to FCT Area Councils

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The impasse generated by the collection of tenement rates within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been resolved after the House of Representatives rescinded the suspension placed on the councils from collecting the rates.
The lower chamber conveyed the restoration of the power frozen 10 months ago, via a letter dated August 1, 2017 and addressed to the six area councils.
The suspension followed move by government to sanitise and streamline the tenement rates collection process as well as ensure compliance with relevant provisions of the constitution.
The FCT Area Councils and Ancillary Matters, headed by Hon Zaphaniah Jisalo, said the issues about the tenement rates, were addressed under the provision of section 13 of FCT Act. Cap 128 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
It ruled that the legislation in reference was made pursuant to section 299 (a) and (c) and section 303 in fulfillment of the Fourth Schedule of 1999 Constitution wherein tenement rate is item (j).
The legislators determined that in line with the relevant provisions, the tenement rates of four per cent or four kobo per naira, currently being assessed and collected by the Area Councils per annum on every property, was within the contemplation of legal framework and should continue to operate without let or hindrance.
Chairman of Abuja Municipal Council (AMAC), Abdulahi Adamu Candido, at a media briefing yesterday, described the National Assembly pronouncement as historic, saying AMAC would uplift the standard of living of the people of the council through provisions of basic infrastructure from internally generated revenues.
Candido said the collection of tenement rates was a constitutional duty for AMAC, which has adopted measures to collecting revenues within the ambit of the law, without recourse to the use of force.
He solicited for the corporation of all property owners within the council to discharge their civic responsibility by paying promptly their accrued tenancy rates to authority.
Salamat Jubril, the Supervisory Counsellor, Finance, who represented Candido, said AMAC is targeting to realise N800 million per year from tenement rates.
The Divisional Head Tenement Rates Area Council, Hannah Ibrahim, said measures of property valuation was done based on present rental value of the society and on the areas where the property is located.