The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has urged the rich people in the capital city to pay their taxes or forfeit infrastructural improvements.
He made this statement on Tuesday, February 6, at the commencement of 57 km road rehabilitation projects, covering 189 roads in the Maitama District of the FCT.
The minister, who faced some resistance when he initiated his revenue generation drive through taxation, said he would not back down, but would keep doing what was right.
In his words, “What we’re doing now is not within the area councils. This is the big men’s place.
“But when they tell them to pay tax now, they’ll begin to complain. They are happy the road is being resurfaced, but ask them where the money will come from if not tax.
“When we started to see how we could get more tax and more revenue, there was nothing they did not do to fight me. I’m not worried.
“I will not shake. I will do what is right. So, don’t expect to have good roads without paying tax.”
The ex-governor of Rivers also said sorry to the residents of the Maitama District for the troubles caused by the road rehabilitation projects, noting that there could be no progress without some pains.
“You cannot talk about development without making sacrifices,” he added. “There must be inconveniences, but after that inconvenience, you will benefit from it. So, these few days where you have had some kind of traffic problem, some people say ‘Oh, where it used to take them 2 minutes, it took them 40 minutes, it’s part of the sacrifice, it will not be like that forever.
“Maybe the FCDA did not make announcements to enlighten the public that this is what was going to happen. So, I apologize on their behalf. But know that it was not intentional for people to suffer.
Wike cautioned local contractors against failing to deliver on projects, stating that he would cancel the contracts of any developers who did not perform well.
The minister said that while he was in favour of local content, he was not in favour of local content without competence.
He also thanked the Senate and the House of Representatives for their backing, while stressing that governance was more important than political differences.