COVID-19: FCTA grants ground rent waiver for park operators

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By Salisu Sani-Idris

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has granted ground rent waiver for Park Operators in the territory, to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses.

The park operators would enjoy a 75 per cent for 2020 and 25 per cent waiver for 2021, respectively.

The Director, FCTA Department of Parks and Recreation, Mrs Riskatu Abdulazeez, stated this in a statement by Maria Okonkwo, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Information, on Sunday in Abuja.

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Abdulazeez, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting with the Association of Park Operators, revealed that the government didn’t review the price of ground rent, adding that the approved charge was N10.00 per square metre.

She said the essence of the meeting was to inform and collaborate with the operators on the commencement of the ground rent collection exercise.

“Following the lifting of the embargo on ground rent collection, Park Operators and Afnalpa (Gardeners) in the FCT are to pay the arrears in not more than three instalments.

“This is with a waiver of 75 per cent for 2020 and 25 per cent for 2021, respectively, due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“Recall that since 2016, the FCT Administration placed embargo on collection of ground rent from Park Operators and Afnalpa in the nation’s capital city,” she said.

According to Abdulazeez, the department is set to streamline all the activities in parks and gardens in the city, and urged operators to fill data form adequately and clearly, to enable it to build a database.

She also admonished the operators to always come to the department to settle their concerns rather than going to the court.

The director noted that upon assumption of office, she met 26 cases pending before the court, adding that 10 of the had been resolved out of the court.

The statement also quoted some members of the association as appreciating government for the gesture.

The operators urged the government to look into the collection of ground rent arrears and extend the waivers beyond two years.

They also identified alleged multiple taxation by the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) as one of the obstacle militating against their operations. (NAN)

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