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Senator warns FCT landlords to sell unoccupied property or pay tax from 2015


ABUJA – The Chairman, Senate committee on FCT, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, said  owners of unoccupied houses  in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be made  to dispose of such property as from 2015.

Adeyemi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that property owners would be forced to pay tax on a regular basis on their property if they refused to let them out.

“The Revenue Bill that we have passed is a double edged bill.

“The bill is supposed to improve the internally generated revenue of the FCT on one hand, making sure there are enough resources for the FCT to meet the challenges of the ever increasing population of FCT.

“But I think more importantly is the aspect of property tax, where people have built houses and they refused to give them out because the would-be tenant cannot just afford what they are being asked to pay.

“So when we come in with the property tax, it will be compelling for landlords to look for tenants because if you don’t, you keep on paying the taxes.

“So  that is the essence of the property tax, that you have a property and you have refused to let it out, you will be paying the property tax, so when you pay for some years you will definitely beg tenants to come and take over the property,’’ he said.

Adeyemi, who said it would not be business as usual for property owners in the FCT, said that it was appalling to have property lying unoccupied and nobody was asking questions.

“It is only in Nigeria you have so many houses built and no occupant and the landlords are not bothered.

“The owners are not talking because a good percentage of them are from stolen money. There is nowhere in the world, where people build and you don’t have tenants and you are not bothered.

“If it is a mortgage, you know what that implies, but in Nigeria people just build with stolen money and nobody asking how they came about it.

“I know of some property, for the past five years, nobody is living in them and the owners don’t bother because they have not taken facility from any bank.’’

The lawmaker said besides the commencement of property tax in January 2015 there would be adequate funds coming to FCT to meet the needs of the people. (NAN)

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