By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, disclosed yesterday that the administration had put a machinery in place to harmonize taxes in the Federal Capital Territory, as part of moves to reduce cases of multiple taxation.
The Minister, who said that the Administration would soon sort out all problems of multiple taxation and give the residents clear direction of what tax to pay, however, warned that on no condition must any kind of tax be paid into private accounts, since taxes were meant for government.
According to him, one of the areas that has been of great concern to the FCT Administration is the multiplicity of taxes.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja when he received members of the Hotel Owners Forum, FCT chapter, the Minister said: “One area that has been of great challenge to us is the multiplicity of taxes that FCT residents pay. It’s something that is of great concern and jointly with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the FCT Inland Revenue Service which will soon be operational, will work on what is already being done nationally so that we can harmonize all these taxes.
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa-Bello
“The ultimate goal is for businesses and organizations to just make one payment to a particular agency and that agency divides the payments to all the others. That way, you don’t have to communicate with five or six different people coming to you and you don’t know who is genuine and who is not genuine. I can assure you we are on the path towards being able to surmount that.
“With regard to taxation, I want to clearly tell you now that any person that comes to you and says pay tax into a private account, don’t pay. Taxation is for government. Even if for any reason, taxes are being collected through consultants and so on, first and foremost, the taxes go to government coffers, then government pays the consultants. If you have a problem, report to me directly through your Association.
“On the issue of the tenement rate and area of the jurisdictions of the Area Councils, particularly AMAC, it’s something that is in the court, so I will not say anything right now. But what we are trying to do will take care of all these and everybody will be carried along.”
The Minister noted that the economic situation in the country had affected almost every sector of the nation.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hotel Owners Forum, Eze Maxwell Omerra Kanu, remarked that the Forum had about 250 hotels in its membership and called on the Minister to help resolve problems of multiple taxation in the Federal Capital Territory.
Eze Kanu, who appealed to the Minister to assist in ironing out problems of Land Use Contravention, also called for a review of Abuja Master Plan, especially as it concerned hotels and hospitality industry.