Business Owners Protest AMAC’s N5 Million Premises Inspection Levy

Business owners in AMAC of the FCT are dismayed by arbitrary levies imposed by area council authorities
AMAC is demanding up to N5.2 million annually as a premises inspection levy from affected companies, causing discontent among residents

Numerous business owners operating within the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed dismay over what they describe as arbitrary levies imposed by the area council authorities.
As reported, one of these levies is the premises inspection levy, which can amount to as much as N5 million per premises.
Speaking anonymously, an official from one affected company, a media outfit, revealed that AMAC, through a consultant, is demanding payment of N5.2 million as an annual premises inspection levy for 2023 and threatening sanctions for non-compliance.
A demand notice purportedly issued by the Premises Inspection and Certifications Office of AMAC instructs payment to be made in favour of AMAC through Platborn Standard Integrated Services Limited. It further provides bank account details under “AMAC Revenue for Fitness and Habitation, Zone C,” warning against making payments through any other account.
Residents have accused AMAC of imposing levies on corporate organizations operating within its jurisdiction, including levies for radio/television, inspection and certification of habitable properties, and mobile advertising permits.
In a ‘Demand Notice’ letter dated January 8, 2024, AMAC requested permission to inspect the business premises, citing portions of the constitution, the Local Government Act, and the council’s By-Law to justify its decision. However, legal practitioners and residents have criticized these arbitrary levies, arguing that they are not stipulated in AMAC’s By-Law and are burdensome on struggling businesses.

Barrister Jimoh Tejuosho emphasized that while local government authorities can collect certain categories of levies, arbitrary levies, especially those already collected by other government bodies, should not be imposed. Audu Abubakar, a small business owner in Wuse, Wuse District, echoed these sentiments, lamenting the multiple levies being charged by AMAC’s agents.
In response, Kingsley Madaki, the Senior Special Assistant to the council chairman on Media and Publicity, defended the levy as legal. However, business owners continue to protest against what they perceive as excessive and unjust levies AMAC imposes.