THE Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has sealed up some government offices, hotels, plazas and other business premises that have not cleared outstanding utility bills for waste collection.
The Director of the AEPB, Osilama Briamah, disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
The offices sealed so far include the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Character Commission, Merit House Maitama and Murg Plaza.
Briamah said the affected offices refused to pay for the services of the AEPB.
“We tried to negotiate to have a better way to achieve results, but there was no positive response; we gave them a payment plan, but many of them refused to take the opportunity seriously.
“The board then resorted to legal means to recover the debts. The board got court orders to seal the premises,” he said.
According to him, the exercise, which has just begun, will cover all public and private offices owing the board.
He further disclosed that a senior magistrate court sitting in Wuse II, Abuja, served the defendants with summons to appear before it on March 30, 2022.
But they failed to honour the court, according to him.
Also speaking on the issue, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the minister of FCT, Ikahro Attah, who led the enforcement team, said the operation followed the initiative put together by the minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the permanent secretary to recover the debts owed the AEPB.
Attah stated that the FCT Administration is worried about the high amount being owed the ministry and its agencies.
“FCT Administration needs enough funds to build infrastructure and keep the city running. The administration has decided to go after the ministries, parastatals, agencies and private individuals. We cannot wait to see government money tied down; it’s wrong for people not to pay for services rendered,” he said.
On Monday, The ICIR reported that the AEPB says it has concluded plans to seal up some government offices, hotels, plazas, and other business premises that have not cleared outstanding utility bills for waste collection.