In a dramatic turn of events, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has issued a stern warning to foreign embassies and high commissions with overdue ground rent payments. As of February 13, 2024, a total of $5.36 million remains unpaid, and affected organizations have been granted a two-week grace period to settle their debts or face the revocation of their titles.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) recently disclosed that 9,671 entities, including foreign embassies and high commissions, are currently delinquent on ground rent payments for 2023. Collectively, these organizations owe a staggering $5,368,218. In addition, companies and individuals in the FCT have accrued a total of N2,205,079,937 in unpaid ground rent.
Ground rent serves as a crucial source of funding for projects and infrastructure development in the territory. With the FCT administration facing economic challenges, the minister emphasized the importance of prompt tax and ground rent payment to maintain government operations and ensure the timely completion of ongoing projects.
Two-Week Ultimatum: Pay Up or Lose Your Land
During an inspection of ongoing projects in the area, Nyesom Wike announced the two-week deadline for property owners, including foreign embassies and companies, to settle their outstanding ground rent payments. Failure to comply will result in the revocation of their title documents.
Despite the economic challenges faced by the territory, the minister reiterated his administration's commitment to ensuring prompt payment of project funds to contractors. The FCTA remains focused on providing essential services and infrastructure development, which relies heavily on the collection of ground rent and taxes.
The FCTA's ultimatum comes at a critical time, as numerous projects are currently underway in the territory. The minister's inspection highlighted the progress made thus far and the importance of securing necessary funding to see these projects through to completion.