Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, yesterday, called on defaulters of ground rent debts to immediately take steps to offset their outstanding liabilities.
He said at the end of the two weeks grace period, he would match his words with actions by revoking such plots.
Wike stated this in Abuja at separate meetings with the President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, and the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, James Chrisoff.
Cautioning those who think his utterances border on pretence of bravery, otherwise called ‘initial gragra’ in local parlance, Wike said at the end of the ultimatum for payment, “something will happen.”
Speaking when he received the NUJ leadership, Wike said the era of abandoned projects in the FCT was over.
He said: “Abandonment of projects as far as the FCT is concerned is a thing of the past. This would not have been possible without the president exiting us from the Treasury Single Account. As I speak to you, I can tell you how much we have been able to save from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). There will be continuous funding of Federal Capital Territory Administration projects.”
On ground rent, the minister said: “Some people are saying what we are doing is ‘initial gragra’, but I want to say at the end of the day, something will happen. We will step on toes because you cannot have governance without stepping on toes. I did not make the laws but I and my colleague, the Minister of State, have the political will to enforce the laws.”
Earlier, Isiguzo expressed optimism about what he called “the transformational potential of your leadership in the FCT.”
He also requested the minister’s support in the establishment of a Media Village as well as the forthcoming national media conference.
Receiving the Canadian top diplomat, Wike assured foreign missions and other investors of improved security in the territory, saying security agencies were working daily to ensure security is full-proof on the nation’s capital.
He said the establishment of a joint task team on ‘one-chance robbers’, has helped address the menace, as no incident has been recorded since the team began operation.
“Security has improved in the FCT. Security agencies have been working round the clock to ensure the environment remains safe. For instance, the issue of one-chance, we set up a joint task force and they have been working round the clock, since then no incidence has been recorded.
“The Renewed Hope agenda of Mr. President is to restore hope to our people. The president has put modalities in place to ensure people’s hope is renewed. So many activities are going on in Abuja.
“We are focused on our drive to increase our IGR, so we can carry out other developments. So, we encourage corporate bodies, foreign missions to fulfil their tax obligations,” he said.
Chrisoff had commended the Wike-led administration for establishing the Women Affairs Secretariat, saying Canada has immense interest in improving opportunities for young women and girls in the FCT. He said his country was also interested in partnering Nigeria in the area of agriculture, as was articulated by President Tinubu at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit.
Wike had earlier in the day inaugurated the pioneer Secretary of Women Affairs, Benjamins Adedayo-Laniyi, with a charge to come up with workable modalities that will help the secretariat kick off operations.
Source: Sun Newspaper