Four hotels have been sealed in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Southeast Nigeria for allegedly refusing to pay ground rent.
The action was carried out on Tuesday by the state government, and it has threatened to seal more.
Emmanuel Igwe, the special assistant to Governor David Umahi on lands and survey, said the enforcement of payment of ground rent has commenced in the state and any hotel or property owner failing to comply with the government directives would have its premises sealed without delay.
“We are in the process of enforcing the payment of ground rate by landlords and property owners. Ground rent is the annual due that those with Certificate of Occupancy, (C of O), pay to the state government.
“We have given notices to hotels to pay their ground rent but for those that are yet to pay, we have commenced the process of sealing their hotels, until all necessary payments are made.
“Today my office was able to seal CEVERO Hotel, Abuson Hotel, Inland Comfort, and City Pride Hotel. It’s a continuous process. We are still going to seal more. The remaining ones that we are going to visit, if we find out that they are yet to pay, we will seal them off.
“And I want to use this opportunity to call on landlords, especially business owners, filling station owners to pay up because very soon we will visit them and if they don’t pay, we will seal their property.
“It has nothing to do with party affiliation. It has nothing to do with status in the society,” he said.