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Monday, April 15, 2024

RE: How Abuja Council Makes Billions From Tenement Tax/By Emeka Oraetoka



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Daily Trust Newspaper, by all standards is a complete outfit in all ramifications. In terms of quality of reportage, its output cannot be toyed with. When one talks of objectivity in news reports, Trust can be trusted. Before now, one can vouch for the newspaper’s fairness in terms of news reporting, but the latest investigation by the establishment on Abuja Council has call to question, the integrity of the investigator[s].

This writer will not however, say that the lead story of Daily Trust on Monday, April 15, 2013 on the above subject was a product of biased reporting, but rather, it was a product of amateurish investigation, with the intention of giving the dog a bad name for the purpose of taking it to the Golgotha. In proving that the so called investigator of tenement tax in Abuja Municipal Area Council [AMAC] was an amateur; he limited his inquiry of application of the tenement tax funds to just three [3] cosmopolitan wards,  Wuse, Garki and City Centre, out of twelve [12] wards that constitute AMAC. The investigator[s] clearly forgot that Seven Wards in AMAC are located in rural areas. If he or she had investigated the application of tenement tax funds in wards like Kabusa, Gui, Karshi, Orozo, Jiwa, Nyanya, just to mention but few, he would have seen where the bulk of generated funds in AMAC are applied. In the process, his investigative skills would have been proven and applauded.

The amateurish induced biasness of the investigator came to a head when he said that the residents of AMAC disagreed with the claims of Mr. Agbotor, the head of tenement rate office of AMAC on the application of the tax funds.  The select people he the investigator interviewed could as well have been stage managed for his result. The best place he would have gone to verify the claim of Mr. Agbotor is still the authority that supervises AMAC, which is Federal Capital Development Authority [FCDA]. If Mohammed Auwal in Wuse told Daily Trust investigator that AMAC cannot justify those billions, what did Salisu Adamu in Kabusa ward told him about the application of those billions in his area? In a nutshell, the respondents to the Daily Trust Newspaper investigator on tenement tax application in AMAC may not even be aware that other wards/areas exist in the Council.

In the other eight [8] wards other than those in the City centre and its environs, Abuja Municipal Area Council had in the last three years or so, provided quality infrastructure in these areas. For avoidance of doubt, the management of Daily Trust Newspaper can approach the information department of AMAC to get comprehensive information on the activities of the Area Council in terms of application of tenement tax funds. In-fact, they should demand for FOOTPRINT MAGAZINE from any of their sister establishments to see Where and How funds generated by the Council were spent in the last three years or so.

Even in the last Area Council elections, notable aspirants in other political parties acknowledged the developments in the wards earlier mentioned by this writer, their only grouse was the quality of work. In any case, they are not authorities ascertaining the quality of the identified works. If rival politicians could acknowledge work done by their opponent as the case here, one could see that a bad job was done by Daily Trust investigator. He needs to be reprimanded for bringing the name of the paper to disrepute on this issue.


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