…Warns residents against cash payment of revenue
The Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon Christopher Zakka Maikalangu, has said that, in a bid to block all leakages, the council has resolved that the revenue-paying public must stop making cash payments of all forms by paying all that is due to AMAC to its statutory revenue accounts in designated banks or face the risk of paying twice.
Speaking on Thursday, during the a two-day 2022 annual AMAC- Press Corps interactive media retreat in Nasarawa, Maikalangu who was represented by the Supervisory Councillor for Special Duties, Mr Emmanuel Inyang, said that the trickling stipends from the federation account and the widespread diversion of revenues into private accounts have not been enough to cater for staff emoluments let alone paying debts owed by the previous administration of Abdullahi Adamu Candido running into N2.9 billion.
He said: “I am convinced that this retreat shall produce working documents, veritable and purposeful advisories as well as a credible synergy between us, the Area Council , the Executive and the AMAC Press Corps.
“Unfortunately, given the astronomical level of indebtedness our predecessor plunged us into, we had no superior choice than to study the debt profile, find ways of paying them off to escape from litigations and start off subsequently on a clean slate.
“In spite of our decisions, the trickling stipends from the federation account and the widespread diversion of revenues into private accounts has never been enough to cater for staff emoluments let alone paying the debts owed running to N2.9 billion.
“Even though the Council owe banks till date, in staff salary arrears and contracts owed running close to three billion Naira, it became exceedingly imperative for us to suspend the initiation and commencement of any new infrastructural contract and tackle the monumental mess we were enmeshed in.
“Since the assumption of office, I have emphasised that my administration is poised at meeting up with the campaign promises we made especially, in ensuring that we make life easier for taxpayers and the grassroots people.
“While we remain committed to exploring the instrumentality of entrenching good and transparent governance, we have begun the process of re-engineering the mechanism of strengthening the Council’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.
“Part of our good governance model is our resolve to justify the collection of every single Kobo earned, by providing public infrastructure within the municipality as well as the highly disadvantaged rural areas.
“Accordingly, in a bid to block all leakages, we have made announcements that the revenue-paying public must stop making cash payments of all forms by paying all that is due to AMAC to its statutory revenue accounts in designated banks or face the risk of paying twice.
“On this note, may I reiterate that daily collection of stipends on motorists’ daily ticketing as well as revenues from regular and community markets are exempted except announced otherwise.
“Recall that last week, at a 2023 budget retreat for AMAC, I reiterated that our focus and vision remains to drastically concentrate on being responsive to the well-being and welfare of all citizens by delivering on their infrastructural and social needs where possible.
“We are determined to uplift the living standards of the common man through a concerted effort of implementing our budget, the PEOPLE’S BUDGET, 2023″.