For the Federal House of Representatives, ridding the Federal Capital territory of different irregularities currently mitigating against it declaring huge revenue from tax ranks next to none as the lower chambers of the National Assembly has raised alarm over the disturbing practices of illegal task forces in the FCT.
Imposition of illegal levies, threats, intimidation, and coercion are some of the landmarks of these revenue-threatening activities perpetrated by imposters pretending to be task force operatives in the FCT jurisdiction. These irregularities have caused business owners to pay levies not remitted to the government coffers.
By this revelation coming from the floor of the National Assembly, private pockets instead of the government stand as the greatest beneficiary of revenue generated in the guise of lawful taxes. It is integral to note that these levies are obtained using force under pretense.
To curb enriching few individuals with the proceeds of this illegal practice, the lawmakers suggest the Federal Capital Territory Administration without wasting time, suspend the activities of the FCT task force. This proposition is to allow for further ionvestigation and curb the activities of these imposters as suspending the real will prevent the fake from parading across the FCT.
Check out the statement of Mr. Tajudeen Yusuf, a member of the House from Kogi State who raised the motion recently approved at the lower chamber.
“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.
‘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.
“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.
“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.”
What you should know
The House of Reps has therefore charged its Committees on FCT and FCT Area Councils to dig deeper into the matter and revert within four weeks to aid an informed legislative action.