The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has concluded plans to start the collection of taxes on unoccupied buildings in the territory.
The Head of the FCT Ministerial Joint Task Force on Sanitation and Demolition of illegal structures, Mr Dele Yaro made this known on Saturday in Abuja.
Mr Yaro, after the demolition of illegal buildings and workshops in Kado Estate, said owners of the building that were not occupied would henceforth be made to pay taxes on such property to generate more money for the government.
According to him, “we have some buildings within the city that are not occupied by anybody and the government is looking in that direction.
He said to ensure that going forward no property lies fallow without paying taxes, FCT now has a Board of Internal Revenue.
“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,”
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.