FCT council laments owing contractors N12b debts
• Blames Abuja Administration For Revenue Shortfall
The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is currently owing local contractors over N12b debts, a situation it described as no longer acceptable.
AMAC said these debts, which spanned over three years, we’re yet to be paid because of FCT’s denial to have access to revenue collections from Wuse International Market, domiciled in its jurisdiction.
AMAC, which is one of the six area councils in the FCT, explained that projects executed across its domain included the construction of feeder roads, drainages, boreholes, primary school classrooms, provision of furniture and building of car parks and garages, among others.
The Chairman of AMAC, Abdullahi Candido, who spoke to journalists, yesterday, on hijack of revenue collections by agencies of the FCT administration, assured contractors the council was making efforts to pay outstanding debts.
Candido said: “It is regrettable that some agencies of the FCT have hijacked our sources of revenues to run this council. We have been denied revenue collections from Wuse International Market, situated in the heart of this council, by some agencies of the FCTA. This is why we are unable to pay contractors their outstanding debts put at over N12b. We also find it difficult to pay for May salaries.
The development has reduced our Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) drastically…”
Responding to the allegation, the FCT said Wuse International Market was built, owned and is being managed by the administration to effectively serve residents and visitors.
It said AMAC’s claim of ownership of the market “is not only untrue but malicious, unfounded and lacks all iota of truth.”
Recall that both the FCT administration and AMAC have continued to blame each other on the legality of who is in a better position to manage, control and collect rates at Wuse Market.
The Head, Corporate Affairs, Abuja Markets Management Ltd., Mr. Innocent Amaechina said: “Presently, we manage over 15 markets, including Wuse, on behalf of the Abuja Investment Company Ltd for the FCT administration. I don’t know why AMAC is laying claims of ownership of Wuse Market… Market reform was carried out by the then FCT Minister, Malam Nasir El-Rufai in 2004- 2005…”