By Omeiza Ajayi
Federal Capital Territory FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has approved waivers on signage for business interests within the territory.
Bello announced this during the flag-off of bills distribution and roadshow organised by the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage DOAS in the FCT Administration.
He said the waiver is part of non-monetary palliative to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic recession.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the FCT, Adesola Olusade, the minister said; “as part of support for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that are needed to catalyse the growth and the development of 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 is 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.”
Bello also called on the Area Councils to support DOAS’ efforts towards revenue generation, noting that it will serve the interests of all.
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“There has been some misunderstanding on the revenue generation efforts between the FCT Administration and its Area Councils. Some of their agitations are rightly expressed. 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 this effort is supported, much can be accomplished and it will be for 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”.
On his part, the Director of DOAS, Dr Baba-Gana Adam, said although, the new policy has taken over 60 percent of its revenue, “but it is about humanity and recognising that we are under a pandemic and people need to be supported so that their businesses can thrive”.
He also explained that the Administration has extended waiver to Mobile advertisement and large billboards on the streets.
“We have given about 30 per cent discount for those with bigger billboards because 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 a 50 per cent discount.”