The vice president (operations) of National Freight and Haulers Association, NFHA and a technical partner to the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mr. Ebere Nwokocha has called on the chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC Hon. Christopher Zakka not to undermine the efforts put in place by the FCTA in harmonising revenue emblems in the six area councils.
Mr. Nwokocha accused AMAC of printing revenue emblems they are not constitutionally empowered to produce, insisting that this will thwart the effort to stop revenue leakage in the FCT.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja at the weekend, Mr. Nwokocha expressed dissatisfaction with the indiscriminate arrest of NFHA staff by an aide of the chairman identified as Yunusa Ahmadu Yusuf whom he also accused of being directly involved in illegal printing of revenue emblems to swindle unsuspecting residents of the FCT.
According to Mr. Nwokocha, the launch of FCTA harmonised mobile adverts revenue for the six area councils November last year by the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Adesola Olusade was aimed at ending illegality and activities of criminal elements who feed fat from revenue leakage in the FCT.
He said this may be thwarted if the AMAC chairman does not call his aide, Yunusa Ahmadu Yusuf and his collaborators to order, maintaining that his illegally printed revenue emblems which he sells to unsuspecting residents must not be allowed to continue.
“It must also be made clear that Mr. Yunusa with one Haliru Ismaila and one Ignatius Okechukwu have raked illegal revenue in essence of N200m in AMAC and we had thought that the launch of the harmonised mobile adverts revenue emblem would have ended their illegality but that is not the case.
“All the six area council chairmen were present at the launch of this document November last year at International Conference Centre. Despite the warning by the Minister, these individuals have continued with their nefarious trade, disobeying constituted authorities with impunity.
“We all know that all revenues due to the government should go to the Treasury Single Account from where the six area councils factor out a sharing formula. But I can tell you, millions of Naira have ended up in the pocket of Mr. Yunusa and cohorts”, he stated.
Mr. Nwokocha further denied receiving revenues on behalf of AMAC, stating that his organisation, NFHA as a technical partner to the department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS only markets the harmonised emblems.
He also queried where Yunusa derived his power to arrest officials of NFHA who are only carrying out their official assignments, warning that further harassment of NFHA staff will be met with stiff resistance.
“I also want to use this opportunity to advise FCT residents to henceforth stop paying their mobile advert revenue to AMAC agents. The Minister has given a stern warning that anyone doing this will have himself to blame.
“All revenue from mobile advert are to be paid to the Federal Capital Territory Administration through the Treasury Single Account. It is also illegal for any agency of government to use a departmental account to receive public revenue”, he warned.
Mr. Nwokocha therefore appealed to AMAC to henceforth desist from receiving public revenue with departmental account but direct same to TSA.
According to him, his organisation is working with the FCTA task force to ensure the prompt arrest of perpetrators of illegality in collection of revenues accrued to administration, including those who smuggle revenue emblems from neighbouring states to shortchange FCTA.