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7 pm closure: Abuja park operators decry loss of revenue



Owners and operators  of recreational facilities in Abuja are in pains as they bemoaned  loss of revenues following Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) decision to enforce Park Policy which mandates all nightlife fun seekers to leave parks at 7pm.

The enforcement which commenced at the popular  Eden Garden, Jabi  at about 8: 14pm ,  moved to Par Excellence Waterfalls and Park, Unity Global Garden, Grillzhut Garden all in  wuse Zone 5 , Deli Restaurant and Garden, Wuse zone 4 and ended at City Park, Wuse II. 

Most of the places visited still had nightlife lovers and patrons seated round their pleasure tables in different clusters, but unwillingly rushed out when the enforcement team stormed and interrupted their groove. 

Madam Winners Wokoma who runs a sit out restaurant at the Eden Garden, said  her losses due to the policy would be enough to send someone to the grave, but will comply with the orders. 

A Manager at the elites City Park, Wuse II, Micheal Akogwu, said he opted to close exactly at 7pm in compliance with the directives to avoid troubles from the government. 

He said the revenue losses in the Park is very colossal, considering different segments that offer unique services with their attractive selling points. 

Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah, said enforcing the policy was not meant to kill people’s businesses, but to instill a sense of sanity to the parks and recreation sector. While regretting that the good intentions of the administration in allocating parks and gardens has been abused, he called for understanding and compliance.

He however assured that the administration will continue to dialogue with owners and operators of parks, to fine tune the processes, to ensure seamless implementation.

“We came out this night for advocacy enforcement, we have gone round some gardens to ensure compliance to FCTA Park policy 2005 that states that parks should close by 7pm, that is why we appear to be very soft.

“Everyone is concerned about parks operators, we really want them to make money, but we still need orderliness.  Parks are not lounges, nightclub and hotels. They have specific guidelines on how they should operate. I think with time, everyone will begin to adjust,” he said.