Gombe State Government, Thursday, sealed corporate offices of organisations defaulting in ground rents.
According to the Director-General of Gombe State Geographical Information System, Dr Kabiru Hasan, the defaulters include two banks on Biu and market roads.
Hasan told newsmen that today’s outing was to rake N15m, noting that the action became necessary when it was obvious that the defaulters were not ready to comply with the state government’s directive.
He noted, “We served them notice and several reminders. All the places we sealed were served notices.
“According to law, we’re supposed to be talking of withdrawal of right of occupancy and re-allocation of property to interested buyers. But the governor was just magnanimous enough to caution against it.”
Stressing that each premises pays between N100,000 and N180,000 yearly as ground rent, he lamented, “Imagine banks owing us for 12 years.”
Hasan insisted that owners of the sealed properties would still pay N500,000 fine, even if they eventually paid the debt.
“Why is it that these companies will easily comply with existing laws in Lagos, Abuja and elsewhere, but treat Gombe as toothless bulldog?
“I, as a pioneer Director-General of GOGIS, wish to leave an enduring legacy for my successor. I am a complete Gombe patriot, so I won’t compromise; I am even ready to die for my state,” he said.
Meanwhile, the manager of a sealed filling station frowned upon the way the law enforcers ordered customers out of the premises, calling the team unprintable names.
Manager of one of the sealed banks said he had secured approval to pay the bank’s N1.5mn debt.
Hasan, however, told newsmen that the exercise would now be frequent, “for the state to generate money to fund all the outlined projects in the fiscal year’s budget.”
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