Abiodun OBA

As workers prepare to resume work after the Easter holiday, some government offices, hotels, plazas and other business premises may be under lock and key due to debts owed to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).

The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) said this in a statement on Monday.

The Director of AEPB, Mr Osilama Briamah,  in a statement, on Monday in Abuja, explained that the measure was coming on the heels of the Task Team set up by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, to recover over N10 billion owed the AEPB by several government agencies, business premises and residential apartments.

“As workers prepare to resume work after the Easter holiday, some government offices, hotels, plazas and other business premises may be under lock and key due to debts owed to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).”

Briamah said that the task team had been mandated to apply all legal means to recover the huge sums of money from the debtors.

The director explained that the debts accrued over time due to the failure of those concerned to pay for services rendered to them by the AEPB.

“All of us desire to live and work in a world-class city compared to other beautiful cities around the world.

“But we can only do that successfully if we behave as responsible citizens and paid our utility bills, especially for solid and

liquid waste collection.

“Unfortunately, many agencies, residential apartments, hotels, plazas and so on, are not paying their bills as expected.

“That makes it difficult to raise the money needed to manage a mega-city like Abuja,” he said.

He said beginning from 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19, based on a court order already obtained by the AEPB, the task team would embark on mass seal-up of the affected facilities with the aim of recovering the huge money being owed.

Briamah further lamented that the AEPB had made moves to provide a soft-landing for the debtors, through negotiated settlement but to no avail.

He added that the only option left was to apply the legal means of enforcing the court order to seal up the affected premises.

The Director, however, said the affected debtors could avoid the impending embarrassment by ensuring prompt payment of their liabilities.

He explained that the payments could be made conveniently through the Remita Portal.

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