The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says multiple taxation by the management of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is a major challenge for business owners in the territory.
Mr. Tony Ejinkeoye, president, ACCI said this on Thursday in Abuja while delivering a lecture at the second Annual Lecture of Just Friends Club of Nigeria.
Ejinkeoye who spoke on the topic: “The Role of the Private Sector in FCT Development’’, was represented by Mr. Somadina Anene, Vice President, ACCI.
Ejinkeoye said the issue of multiple taxation in the FCT must be tackled to encourage private sector involvement in its development, adding that some of the measures put in place to collect taxes must be removed.
He said the private sector was clearly an important engine of economic growth and wealth creation, but to be effective and benefit the people, needed to be framed within a normative approach to development.
He said private sector actors were perceived as playing a role in urban governance because they determine whether urban areas would develop in inclusive and sustainable ways.
He added that they also affect poverty reduction and drivers of fragility as was as conflict such as unemployment, exclusion and instability.
Ejinkeoye noted that the quality of a city’s infrastructure influenced social inclusion, economic opportunity and quality of life.
“Therefore, partnering with the private sector could extend services into poorer or informal communities, provide safer work places, promote adoption of non-discriminatory employment policies, help the poor access credit, and boost investment in low-cost housing.
“So Abuja which is the fourth largest city in Nigeria today with a population estimated at the current growth rate to rise to about 16 million by 2025, provides huge attraction for private sector participation.
“Similarly, the huge infrastructure deficit creates a significant opportunity with strong commercial attraction and compelling business case for the private sector.
“It is therefore imperative for the private sector to take active part in developing the FCT.’’
Earlier, Mr Jerome Green-Amakwe, President of the club, said the current state of the FCT was troubling, adding that more effort should be made to put life back in the territory.
He added that government should intervene to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, by creating the regulatory and legal framework for investors.
He said that the club was a non-profit, socio-cultural organisation that fostered and encouraged the spirit of oneness, companionship and comradeship amongst members and between the club and other friendly associations.
Idu Jude, Abuja