The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has approved waiver on signage for business interests within the territory as non-monetary palliative to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
Bello was speaking at the launch of bills distribution ceremony and road show organised by the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade, Bello said the measure became imperative following the economic downturn in the country occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
” This is a part of support for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that are needed to catalyse the growth and the development of the FCT.
” We have granted waiver to enterprises that have their signage and billboard on their walls to enable them benefit from some of the concessions of government for this period of COVID-19.
“It’s a gesture of government to ensure that non-monetary palliative of COVID-19 gets to everyone.
” It will enable the beneficiaries plough back the revenue that would have been paid to government into their businesses,” the minister said.
Bello used the occasion to call on area council chairmen in the FCT to support DOAS effort towards revenue generation, noting that it would serve the interest of all.
“There has been some misunderstanding on the revenue generation effort between the FCT administration and its area councils.
” Some of their agitations are rightly explained. We have explained to them that when we work together, there will be greater benefit for all of us.
” We want them to cooperate with the arrangement of DOAS, work with them, then we will see the benefits that all of us will have.
“When these efforts are supported, much can be accomplished and it will be to the benefit of all.
” The internally generated revenue of FCT is shared among all tiers of government in the territory, so I appeal to them to cooperate with these arrangements for the greater growth of everyone,” he said.
On his part, the DOAS Director, Dr Babagana Adam, said people needed to be supported so that their businesses could thrive.
Adam explained that the administration had extended waivers to mobile advertisements and large billboards on the streets.
“We have given about 30 per cent discount for those with bigger billboards for the period of April, May and June.
“There was a total lockdown, so when we are billing for the big signboards (third-party), we have deducted a whole quarter.
“As for banks and other key institutions in Abuja, we have also given them 50 per cent discount,” he said. (NAN)