FCT: Reps Lift Ban On Collection Of Tenement Rates
By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel, Abuja
The House of Representatives has lifted the ban imposed on the collection of tenement rates within the federal capital territory by area councils.
This directive was contained in a circular signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory, Dr Babatope Ajakaiye wherever all stakeholders were enjoined to abide by law, noting the temporary policy is to be strictly complied with.
It would be recalled that in May, the ministry of the Federal Capital Territory Administration had imposed a temporary freeze on the collection of tenement rates.
According to the circular, the suspension became necessary to sanitise and streamline the tenement rates collection process and to ensure compliance with relevant provisions of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, the House of Representatives in a letter dated August 1, 2017 with reference no: NASS/8HR/CT/.32/149 titled “Approval for the collection of tenement rates within the Federal Capital Territory by Area Councils” obtained by Leadership directed the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to resume collection of the tenements rates with immediate effect.
The letter which was signed by the chairman of the House committee on Area Council and Ancillary matters, Hon. Zaphaniah Jisalo informed that “the issue of collection of tenements rates by the Area Councils had already been addressed by the National Assembly through the provisions of action 13 of the Federal Capital Territory Act, Cap 128, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“The piece of legislation by reference was made pursuant to action 229 (a) (c) and section 303 in fulfilment of the Fourth schedule to the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 wherein tenement rate is item (I).
Jisalo said that “From the community construction of these constitutional provisions; section 13 of the Federal Capital Territory Act Cap 128 as well as the judicial authority in Advin Ventures Ltd and 2 others vs chairman Abuja Municipal Area Council(12th May, 2014, per Court of Appeal) the tenement rate of 4 percent or N4k per naira; currently being assessed and collected by the Area Council is within the contemplation of this established legal framework and accordingly, the Honourable speaker House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has directed that this should continue to operate without let or hindrance.”
“It remains for me to emphasise, for avoidance of doubt, that the Area Council is under obligation to ensure that assessment and collection of the tenement rates shall be strictly in compliance with this established legal framework”, the chairman stated.
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