Reps want FCT councils to suspend illegal levies on businesses

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The House of Representatives has called on the () Area Councils to suspend the indiscriminate, illegal and outrageous levies on all business categories.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep Yusuf Tajudeen (PDP-Kogi) on the floor of the House on Tuesday .

Tajudeen, while moving the motion, said that many business outlets and private enterprises had been under serial threats, intimidation and coercion by various task operating the six area councils.

He stated that the task operated under different guises, adding that they harassed and forced business owners to various spurious levies which were most cases bogus and unrealistic.

The lawmaker added that such levies were not only discriminatory, outrageous and illegal but that money collected from business owners often ended up in private pockets of tasks force officials.

“These task in desperate bids to circumvent government policies as regards generation issues unrealistic and unimaginable levies they know will be difficult to be paid by business owners.

“Through these sharp practices, monies due to the Federal Government to the economy are diverted into private hands of the task forces, who have perfected perpetual blackmail and extortion,” he said.

He said that owners and operators of supermarkets, hotels, cafeteria, eateries, furniture shops among had become serial victims of task force officials

He said that continued swindling of business operators in Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and other area councils in the under the guise of collecting levies, tenement and other charges.

He said this had led some entrepreneurs that could not cope with the multiple payments to sack some of workers.

The lawmaker said that such unwholesome and fraudulent practices of forcing and blackmailing business outlets to multiple races and levies had led to consistent and serial complaints of bankruptcy by operators.

The house, therefore, mandated the Committee on and Area Councils and Ancillary Matters to investigate the matter and report back to it in two weeks.

It also mandated the authorities of FCTA in the interim to suspend the activities of task forces in all the six area councils pending the completion of the matter by the house.