The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it has concluded plans to start the collection of taxes on unoccupied buildings in the territory.
Mr Dele Yaro, the Leader of the FCT Ministerial Joint Task Force on Sanitation and Demolition of illegal structures, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja.
Yaro, an Assistant Director of Operations in the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) said this after the demolition of illegal buildings and workshops in Kado Estate by the Task Force.
According to him, owners of buildings that are not occupied will henceforth be made to pay taxes on such property to generate more money for the government.
He said: “we have some buildings within the city that are not occupied by anybody and government is looking in that direction.
“This is to ensure that going forward no property lies fallow without paying taxes. We now have a Board of Internal Revenue for the FCT.
“So, if your property is lying fallow, definitely you know you must pay tax on it.
“If the cost of renting or acquiring these buildings are too high and the owners are made to pay taxes on them every year, they will be forced to bring it down so that people can occupy them,”
According to reports, about 600 unoccupied buildings have been identified mostly in the highbrow districts of Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse, Apo, and Gwarimpa Estate.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) said recently that it would soon begin investigation into the ownership of the buildings.
The FCTA has reportedly blamed an estimated 1.7 million housing deficit in Abuja largely, on an increase in the number of unoccupied buildings in the nation’s capital.