Suspend Illegal Taxes On Businesses- Senate Tells FCT Council

It has been reported that the House of Representatives has made it known that illegal levies being imposed on businesses by area councils in the Federal Capital Territory by task forces should be suspended.

According to reports, a member of the House from Kogi State, Mr Tajudeen Yusuf, moved a motion on Tuesday, calling for the suspension at the plenary.

Yusuf stated that, “Business outlets and private enterprises have been under threats, intimidation, and coercion by task forces operating in the Federal Capital Territory area councils under different guises, forcing business owners to pay illegal levies which are not remitted into the government coffers but private pockets of task force officials.”

He added that, “The House is concerned that revenues meant to boost the economy of the capital territory are diverted by task force officials from Abuja Municipal Area Council and other area councils who extort supermarket operators, hotels, cafeterias, furniture shops, artisans, and other businesses.”

He said that, “The House is disturbed that the continued extortion of business operators in AMAC and other area councils in the Federal Capital Territory under the guise of collecting levies, tenement and other charges by task forces is affecting businesses as some entrepreneurs who cannot cope with multiple levies are forced to reduce their workforce, particularly hotel owners.”

He added that, “The House is alarmed that with the rising effects and fallout of the COVID–19 pandemic, which has thrown the country into economic recession; if the illegal activities of task forces are not stopped by relevant government authorities, it will lead to loss of jobs, impact negatively on the economy and increase insecurity.”

The lawmaker reportedly urged, “the Federal Capital Territory Administration to, in the interim, suspend the activities of the task forces in all area councils of the FCT pending the completion of the investigation.”

He also prayed the committee on FCT to, “investigate the matter and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.”

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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