THE Federal Capital Territory Authorities (FCTA) has sealed off some government ministries and agencies buildings over accumulated waste management debts, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The government buildings, whose actual number cannot be ascertained at the time of filing this report, were on Tuesday sealed by the city authorities for owing the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) about N10 billion.
The AEPB, in company of heavily armed security operatives drawn from different security wings, trooped into some ministries to implement the action.
Some of the ministries and government owned agencies identified to be indebted include Federal Ministry of Works and Housing located at Mabushi, Federal Ministry of Defence, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Character Commission, Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment, Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Wuse, among others.
Prior to this development, the government owned ministries, at the request of FCTA, who took the case to court, had been asked to appear before the Magistrate Court sitting in Wuse 2, on March 30, an invitation they allegedly failed to honour.
The Director of AEPB, Osilama Braimah, who is also the Chairman of the Special Debt Taskforce which sealed off the affected buildings, gave the breakdown of the amount the named parastatals are owing the waste management for its services over the years.
“Federal Ministry of Works – N9,998,625.00; Federal Ministry of Defence – N17,220,775.00; Federal Character Commission – N10,128,906.25; Civil service Commission – 2,451,649.50; and Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission – 21,683,750.00.
“Others are Federal Ministry of Health – N14,204,843.75; Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment – N19,222,287.50; Federal Ministry of Education Hqtrs –N25,838,275 ; and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Wuse – N16,583,031.25,” Mr Braimah told journalists on Tuesday.
He said the AEPB had tried to negotiate a better way of helping the debtors ministries to settle their debts but “many of them refused to take this opportunity seriously.”
“The board then resorted to legal means to recover the debts. The board obtained court orders to seal the premises,” he further explained.
Mr Braimah added that the step taken on Tuesday is just one of the many to come as the exercise will cover not only public buildings but also private enterprises owing the board.