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Works Ministry’s staff regain access to offices 3 hours after lockout

By Chioma Nnodim

FCTA seals Works Ministry office over N9m waste bill debt

By Chioma Nnodim

Between 8am resumption time and 11am on Tuesday, staff of the Ministry of Works and Housing were locked out of the Ministry headquarters, Mabushi, Abuja

It was gathered that the offices were locked following orders of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, over negligence of waste bills that have accumulated to over N9m.

When the staff members resumed work after the Easter break they were surprised to note that the main entrance to the Ministry had been blocked with patrol van of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, preventing vehicular and personnel entry to the Ministry’s headquarters and to their offices.

Recall, it was reported earlier how the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, on Tuesday sealed the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Character Commission, Merit house Maitama, and Murg plaza over ten billion naira debts waste management owed to Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB.

Addressing journalists during the exercise, Director of the board, Engr Osilama Briamah said the board provided waste management and other environmental services for their service providers and they refused to pay.

He explained that the board had huge amount laying without response from the defaulters.
“We try to negotiate to have a better way to achieve results but there was no positive response, we have given them payment plan but many of them refused to take this opportunity serious, the board then resort to legal means to recover the debts.
The board got court orders to seal the premises” he said.

According to him, the exercise which has just begun will cover all public and private offices owing the board.
A senior magistrate court sitting in Wuse II, Abuja had served the defendants with summons to appear before the court on March 30th, 2022 but they failed to honour the court.

The breakdown of the debts showed that the Federal Ministry of Education owed 25,838,275, Federal Ministry of Defence –17,220,775.00 and Federal character commission—10,128,906.25.

Others include Civil service commission–2,451,649.50, Revenue mobilisation and fiscal commission—21,683,750.00
Federal ministry of Health 14,204,843.75, Fed ministry of Trade & Investment—-19,222,287.50, Federal ministry of Works — 9,998,625.00, Nigeria Security and civil Defence corps wuse–16,583,031.25.

The senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the minister of FCT, Ikahro Attah who led the enforcement said the operation followed the initiative put together by the minister of FCT and the permanent secretary to recover the extreme debts owed the board.

Attah stated that the FCT Administration is worried about the high amount being owed FCTA.

“FCT Administration needs enough fund to build infrastructure and keep the city running. The administration has decided to go after the Ministries, parastatals, agencies and private individuals. “We cannot wait to see government money tie-down, is wrong for people not to pay for services rendered,” he said.

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