Fred Itua, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has revealed that it intends to generate over N3 billion in revenue from outdoor advertisements before the end of the first half of 2020.
Director, FCT Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage, Babagana Adam, said his department has the capacity to generate more than the N500 million realised in 2019, but conceded that he has been inhibited by activities of unlawful agents bleeding the system.
Adam, however, told reporters over the weekend that the agency is working on advanced IT-driven ways of revenue collection in order to block leakages and prevent further evasion of advertisement taxes.
“We generated N500 million in 2019 but the plan is to hit the billion naira mark by May 2020. At the rate we are going, we will exceed that and probably we will be talking about N3billion revenue by May 2020,” he said.
He added that the department is currently working out payment plans that will discourage agents from accumulating debts.
“The problem is that the FCT has been in limbo for so long and practitioners were allowed to owe for too long, unlike places like Lagos where you dare not owe for one month. So what we intend to do is to introduce a quarterly payment plan so agents and practitioners will not accumulate debts.”
The director also revealed that the agency is working tirelessly to recover the N1.9 billion outstanding debt being owed by 86 practitioners who ran advertisements on the 707 billboards across the city.
He added that the agency may soon be delisting 45 practitioners that have failed to reconcile their debt profile with them.
On ways of resolving issues of double taxation on businesses, he said: “Going forward, what we intend to do is, if any of the area council collects advert revenues directly from agents and practitioners, we will calculate all the monies they have collected through the back door then deduct that amount from the allocation due to them. That way the area councils will realise that there is no point using their own resources to collect revenues themselves when they can just allow us to do the collection and give them the percentage due to them
“The agency as an establishment of the law does not do double taxation. If an agent claims to have made payment to area councils, we investigate and track such claims. But, where the money goes to private hands with no evidence of such payment made into area councils’ accounts, then such a business will have to bear the consequences; but where they have proof of payment, we simply make deductions before paying allocations to that area council.”
Giving a breakdown of the sharing formula of advert revenues, Adam said the six area councils are entitled to 60 per cent of the total revenue collected, while the FCT takes 40 per cent.
“That 60 per cent for area councils is further shared and Abuja Municipal gets the lion share of 40 per cent. The agency and FCTA only get 40 per cent of the total revenue generated. The area councils get the lion share. So what is the problem?
“For instance, of the recent revenue we generated, N305 million that was shared in January, AMAC got N73 million, the five other area councils got N22 million each. So, you see, N183 million went to the six area councils. The agency and FCTA only got N61 million each.”