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Business owners kick as AMAC demands N5m premises inspection levy

Several business owners operating within Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the FCT have decried what they call arbitrary levies imposed on them by the…

Several business owners operating within Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the FCT have decried what they call arbitrary levies imposed on them by the area council authorities.

 One of the levies, the Daily Trust learnt, includes what the authorities call the premises inspection levy, which could run up to N5 million or more per premises.

 An official of one of the affected companies, a media outfit, who sought anonymity, said AMAC, through a consultant, was demanding payment of N5.2 million as an annual premises inspection levy for 2023 or imposition of sanctions in the case of default.

 A demand notice, said to have been issued by the Premises Inspection and Certifications Office of the AMAC, directed that the money should be paid in favour of AMAC through Platborn Standard Integrated Services Limited.

 The levy notice also provided bank account details bearing AMAC Revenue for Fitness and Habitation, Zone C, warning that any payment made through any other account would be treated as invalid.

 Our correspondent reports that residents have been accusing AMAC of imposing levies on corporate organisations operating under its jurisdiction.

 The council has been asking firms to pay levies for radio/television, inspection and certification of habitable properties and mobile advertising permits, among others.

 In the letter to the media company titled ‘Demand Notice’, dated January 8, 2024, the council requested permission to inspect the business premises.

 Although AMAC quoted some portions of the constitution, the Local Government Act and the By-Law of the council apparently to support its decision, some residents, including legal practitioners, berated what they called arbitrary levies to further drain the revenues of business owners, who are at present finding it difficult to remain afloat.

 Barrister Jimoh Tejuosho, a legal practitioner, said even though LGAs are permitted to collect some categories of levies, that should not be used to impose arbitrary levies, especially those already being collected by other government bodies. He said such levies are not contained in the AMAC’s By-Law, wondering why the council would be arbitrarily taxing business outfits, especially at a time when ventures are struggling to survive.

Audu Abubakar, a small business owner in Wuse, Wuse District, lamented the number of levies, including daily tickets, being charged businesses by the agents of AMAC.

 The Senior Special Assistant to the council chairman on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Madaki, recently confirmed the levy to our correspondent on phone, saying that it was legal.


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