From Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Abuja
Different courts in Abuja have affirmed the rights of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to collect tenement fees in the Federal Capital Territory.
Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Abdullahi Candido, disclosed this to newsmen at an interactive parley in Abuja, at the weekend.
Candido insisted the FCTA is trespassing on the council’s statutory right to collect tenement rate in the country’s capital city.
He also disclosed that although the capital territory has a very fertile revenue base, it has been hampered by conflicts with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) over tenement rate and other revenue collections.
“The revenue base is very fertile, but conflicts have not allowed us to harness the vast opportunities. The conflicts have made it difficult for us to realise the great revenue potentials within the AMAC area of jurisdiction.
“We are supposed to be a big council, but the conflicts with the FCTA have been holding us down. I decided not to keep quiet because keeping quiet will not help. There have been conflicts of roles in tenement rates collection. We have been in court with the FCTA, but, each time, judgment is given in our favour because the Constitution is very clear on this. We have gone from the lower courts to the Appeal Court and, yet, we have always won.
“The question is, ‘why are you interested in what does not belong to you?’ These are the issues that continue to create tensions between AMAC and the FCTA.
“There shouldn’t be conflicts if you don’t try to muzzle AMAC which was created by law. I recognise the FCTA as our supervisory ministry, and we want a win-win structure in relating with the FCTA, but, they should take what belongs to them and leave us with ours.”
Candido also explained that AMAC had to collect tenement fees from residents in the city, in order to provide infrastructure for rural communities in the council.