Director, Information and Communications, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Hazat Sule, has deplored refusal by residents to pay taxes, stating that about N29 billion is being owed in ground rent.

Speaking yesterday at a forum with journalists in Abuja, Sule warned defaulters, stressing that FCT administration was determined to recover all taxes for provision of world-class services.

Sule, who also disclosed that major defaulters were residents of Asokoro and Maitama (two of the high-profile areas of FCT), informed that 413 grounds had been sieved and owners would be sued to compel payment.

He said: “Most Nigerians don’t want to pay tax. I am using this medium to appeal to them. Abuja needs money to provide infrastructure, it needs money to provide services.

“There was this issue of ground rent. A lot of money is locked down there. As much as N29 billion is owed as ground rent and this has compelled the FCT Minister to set up a ministerial committee to recover the rent.”

“Out of the N29 billion we are talking about, large sum is in Asokoro and Maitama areas of Abuja. Largest share of that money is in Asokoro District.”

He expressed delight that the committee was working and people have started responding y.

“This administration is determined to take them to court. In fact, some people have already been taken to court. And if one does not pay, the court will order for forfeiture of the land.”

Sule, who listed projects completed by the current FCT administration, assured the residents of sustained efforts at completing more projects before the end of the regime.

“Government needs money to provide world-class services. Unfortunately, some people are not prepared to pay taxes. By the time government is done with the first batch of 413 properties, it will go to the next batch,” he said.

The director pleaded with the media to assist in the campaign for FCT residents to pay their taxes.