For utilising generator, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has informed banks, industries and warehouses operators that, henceforth, the authorities would commence collection of annual taxes.
So far, the only deductible reason for this action, as observed on the notice signed by Ahmed Haruna, the Director of Public Health, AMAC, is to control the discharge of harmful hazardous substances, in other words, for Gaseous Emission Permit Limit.
Already, business owners in Abuja are sceptical about the new directives whether or not they would honour the arrangements that came as a surprise from the Government.
Many decried the move by FCTA to impose a levy on companies for using generators to power their businesses.
Below is exactly what the AMAC Notice says:
“Management of Abuja Municipal Area Council Environment Services, ESD Bodies, wishes to notify you of levy/fees due to Abuja Municipal Area of Council for Gaseous Emission Permit.
“This includes (the) discharge of harmful hazardous substance(s) into the air or the land and the water in Nigeria by the activities of industries, warehouse(s), bank(s), either from generator(s) or heavy-duty drilling, production, construction and manufacturing equipment, filling stations, etc.
According to AMAC, the levy is in line with the provision of section (2C) of the fourth schedule to the Nigerian Constitution “as amended under the function of the Local Government Authority and Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act, FEPA, Section 25.”
The law mandates the council “to regulate, enforce, and collect levies for the interest of public health importance.”
“Also note that failure to comply with this foregoing regulation is (a) punishable offence,” the notice warned, “and we will seize the activities of the organisation and arrest as prescribe in part iv section 27 subsection 1 ABCD and (2) of FEPA ACT 1992.”
FCTA: Marketers Lament Over Generator Tax Notice
Meanwhile, many residents in Abuja are worried that FCTA may cripple businesses trying to survive amid the current economic reality with its numerous taxes and challenges encountered at heat of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In a brief chat with a friend who runs his business in Wuse Market, Zackariah Ofem, everyevery.ng correspondent learnt that Ofem claimed to be unaware of the development, but argued that marketers would do everything to counter the directives.
He said it’s unfortunate to live in a country where entrepreneurs are encouraged to grow their businesses but denied access to a conducive operating environment, adding that the move is hypocritical on the part of the Government.
He pointed out the aspect of having to experience an epileptic power supply to Nigerians, charging the Government to address this challenge before imposing unnecessary hardship on business owners in Abuja.
As of the time of filing this report, no statement has been received from the office of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Muhammad Bello.