Individuals and corporate bodies in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who make payments for signage or other services offered by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS) into personal accounts of staff or other persons, have shot themselves in the foot.
The warning came from the Department last week as it kicked off intensified sensitization of residents on the need to pay for services offered by the agency.
Seeking to beef up government revenue generation, DOAS urged clients to refrain from accepting any bills from anybody or agent, except from it (DOAS), the agency lawfully charged to issue same.
This position was made by its Acting Director, Engr. Richard Aderinwale.
He reminded residents that government has stopped collecting cash from customers and now operates a Treasury Single Account (TSA) where all payments are made.
The Department also warned that any outdoor advertiser, practitioner, group of individuals within the FCT who pays his/her outdoor advertising fees, levies and similar charges to any organization, group or individual other than DOAS is risking their funds.
The DOAS is the regulatory body charged with the responsibility of regulating and controlling outdoor advertisement in FCT. Statutory fees are leveled in a graduating manner depending on the type of service required by the individual or corporate citizens.
Aderinwale stressed that the warning became necessary ”because some people do not even know the full name of and mandate of the Department.”
Furthermore, he said, the agency embarked on the exercise to plug all irregularities found in revenue on signposts in FCT and to enforce compliance to the right process of payment.
Engr. Aderinwale insisted: “The power to collect revenue on signage was vested on councils initially, but FCTA and the six Area Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) after which they ceded that power to the Department under the FCTA.
“So, we are going to sensitize all the plazas, banks, eateries, shopping malls, on what we do and also give them the gazette of our bye-laws.”
Highlighting the intending results of the exercise, Engr. Aderinwale said it would help inform FCT residents on the right process of registration and revenue payment for outdoor advertisement in the Territory.
Staff members of the Department were dispatched to various parts of Abuja to sensitize residents, even as some encountered challenges.
These included a situation where some premises visited showed ignorance of not being served any bill or of the existence of DOAS even though their names were captured in the department’s computerized system.
Some claimed that they had already made payments to Area Councils, had not been served notice or enumerated or they were new occupants in the premises.
Yet, others promised to pay but on condition that DOAS stopped Area Councils’ operatives from coming to collecting same fees from them.