The Chairman for Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Friday hinted that the National Assembly would soon come up with a bill to stop the alarming rate of unoccupied mansions within the highbrow areas of Abuja.
Towards this end, the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, pledged to initiate a legislation that would impose property tax on all unoccupied buildings, which according to him were outrageously expensive.
Adeyemi disclosed this during an interactive session between members of his committee and the secretariat team led by the Clerk to the panel.
He noted with concern that there were too many unoccupied buildings in the city.
According to him, putting legislation in place remained a reasonable way to stop the menace.
He also said doing so would make the issue of accommodation less burdensome for residents of the nation’s capital.
Adeyemi said, “As a committee, we would compliment all the executive arm of government has been doing and see how we can help accelerate the socio-economic development of the city.
“We would see how we can improve the security of the city.
“We want this city to be a place where everyone will be proud of as the capital of the country and even that of West Africa, because we have the ECOWAS secretariat here.”
Adeyemi noted the need to call the attention of the executive to certain areas of the needs.
“One of such, according to him, was to solve the issue of accommodation and housing deficit in the state.
He said, “We have found that in this city, many houses are not inhabited. There are a lot of mansions with no one living in them and no one is asking questions.
“If those houses were built with loans from banks, then the banks should be asking for interest.
“Having abandoned houses all over the place, even poses more risks to the residents because they serve as abodes for kidnappers, hooligans and criminals.
“If you have built houses and they are unoccupied, we would find out the reasons and tell the government to lock them up, so that criminals will not take charge.
“We would propel legislation that will cause them to start paying taxes, so that we would use the money to develop the city.
“We are not asking people not to build, but if you build and it is not something within the range of what an average person can afford, you would start paying taxes.”