By Chris Ochayi, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory, FCT, announced yesterday that it was targeting N3 billion as Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, from the outdoor advertisement and signage in 2021 fiscal year.
The revenue is to be collected by the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS, which is an agency under the FCT.
It is in charge of all revenue collections with regard to outdoor advertisement and signage, including mobile, 2nd and 3rd party advertisement.
Recall that the issue of who is to collect revenue from the outdoor advertisement and signage has been an issue of controversy between the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, as who has the legal right to collect the revenue.
But the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido said that the issue has been resolved in the interest of residents of AMAC.
Addressing a joint press conference alongside the Director, Department of outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS, Dr. Baba-Gana Adam, Hon. Candido said the decision taken in order to harmonize collections and avoid double taxation.
According to him, “This joint press release between the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC and the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS, became imperative in order to put the record straight, following the ambiguity being created on the regulation of outdoor advertisement/signage and mobile advertisement within the Abuja Municipal Area Council, and to resolve the lingering conflict on who has the legal rights or otherwise to collect advertisement and signage permits, taxes and levies including mobile, 1st party and 2nd party advertisements and signage within the jurisdiction of AMAC in the FCT.
“Following several stakeholders’ meetings on the above issue, both parties, Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC and the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS, hereby wish to announce that an amicable agreement has been reached in the interest of the general public.
“Whereas Section 7 and the fourth schedule of the 1999 Constitution, taxes and levies, (approved list for collection) vested the powers on Local Government Areas or Area Councils as in the case of FCT to collect advertisement permit, taxes and levies and in this case, the Abuja Municipal Area Council to collect advertisement permit, taxes and levies within its area.
“After due consultations by relevant stakeholders and in recognition of subsisting agreements and associated bye-laws, the two institutions have resolved that henceforth, all revenues with regards to outdoor advertisements and signage, including mobile, 1st party and 2nd party and 3rd part advertisements, is carried out by DOAS on behalf of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC.
“As a responsive and responsible government, the Council accepts that it is in the best interest of both parties and most especially the residents of AMAC in FCT to delegate this task to the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS, in order to harmonize collections, avoid double taxation, improve on the ease of doing business and ensure seamless tax collections in the council.”
Speaking with journalists shortly after the event, the Director, Department of outdoor Advertisement and Signage, DOAS, Dr Baba-Gana Adam, said with this development, the agency is targeting N3 billion as Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, in 2021.
Dr Adam said, “Our target is N3 billion for this year. My request from you is to educate the public so that they don’t say tax collectors are harassing them.
“They should do the needful also, you understand. If they come forward and register, and they pay as when due, nobody will molest them. But, you know if you don’t do the needful, government survives on revenue everywhere.
“There is no government in the world that is not collecting revenue. The question is that are we going to do it with a human face? That is what we must do especially in this difficult time.
“We should device ways on how we can collect our revenues with a human face. People will not want to pay, some don’t have. Some their businesses are not growing as they expected, we are expected to is to give them time, educate them to understand why they should pay and them respect their human rights and human dignity for them to pay. “