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Why Gombe sealed premises of two banks, others

Gombe State Government has revealed that it sealed the corporate offices of two banks and others for defaulting in the payment of ground rents.

The Director-General of Gombe State Geographical Information System (GOGIS), Dr. Kabiru Hasan, said the defaulters were operating on Biu and market roads.

Hasan told newsmen that Thursday’s outing was to rake N15 million, noting that the action became necessary when it was obvious that the defaulters were not ready to comply with the state government’s directive.

His words: “We served them notice and several reminders. All the places we sealed were served notices.

“According to law, we’re supposed to be talking of withdrawal of the right of occupancy and re-allocate the property to interested buyers. But the governor was just magnanimous enough to caution against it.”

Stressing that each premises pays between N100,000 and N180,000 yearly as ground rent, he lamented: “Imagine banks owing us for 12 years.”

Hasan insisted that owners of the sealed properties would still pay an N500,000 fine, even if they eventually paid the debt.

“Why is it that these companies will easily comply with existing laws in Lagos, Abuja and elsewhere, but treat Gombe as toothless bulldog?

“I, as a pioneer Director-General of GOGIS, wish to leave an enduring legacy for my successor. I am a complete Gombe patriot, so I won’t compromise; I am even ready to die for my state,” he fumed.

Meanwhile, the manager of a sealed filling station frowned on the commando way the law enforcers ordered customers out of the premises, calling the team unprintable names.

The manager of a sealed bank, Bashir Yinusa, said he had secured approval to pay the bank’s N1.5 million debt.

Hasan, however, told newsmen that the exercise would now be frequent, “for the state to generate money to fund all the outlined projects in the fiscal year budget.”

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