The Abuja Environmental Protection Board says it may lockdown some offices, hotels, Plazas and other business premises owing to debts owed the board.
The Director of the AEPB, Osilama Briamah, revealed this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Briamah said the measure was necessary following the mandate issued by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Olusade Adesola, to set up a Task Team for the recovery of over N10 billion owed the AEPB by several agencies, business centres and residential apartments.
”As workers prepare to resume work after the Easter holiday, some offices, hotels, plazas and other business premises may be under lock and key due to debts owed to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board,” he said, adding 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 maintained.
He further said beginning from 5:30 am on Tuesday, April 19, based on a court order already obtained by the AEPB, the task team would embark on a mass seal-up of the affected facilities with the aim of recovering the huge money being owed.
He lamented that the AEPB had made moves to provide a soft-landing for the debtors, through negotiated settlement but to no avail.
Briamah 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.