Nigeria, US, Japan top list of embassies owing ground rent in UK

Kunle Sanni

The UK government has announced that the Nigerian high commission in London, owes an  accumulated £8.4 million as unpaid congestion charges.

According to a spreadsheet released by Transport for London (TfL), the sum is related to unpaid costs that diplomats racked up from the beginning of the congestion charge in 2003 and the end of the previous year.

The  report stated that, “We and the UK Government are clear that the Congestion Charge is a charge for a service and not a tax. This means that diplomats are not exempt from paying it.

“The majority of embassies in London do pay the charge, but there remains a stubborn minority who refuse to do so, despite our representations through diplomatic channels.

“We will continue to pursue all unpaid Congestion Charge fees and related penalty charge notices and are pushing for the matter to be taken up at the International Court of Justice.

According to the dash sheet, the UK govt listed 26 embassies which included the US and Japan toping the list of as the worst offenders, with debts of £14.6 million and £10.1 million, respectively.

India is in third place with £8.5 million, while Nigeria stands in fourth.

Other countries on the list include Russia, China, Poland, Ghana, Kenya, and France.

Recall that FCT Minister, Nyesome Wike earlier in the year blacklisted about 42 embassies in Abuja for owing ground rent.

An advertorial published by the Federal Capital Territory Administration in the Vanguard Newspaper on Tuesday titled, ‘Re: Final Notice on Payment of Outstanding Ground Rent in the FCT,’, said the total amount of the ground rents owed by the foreign institutions is $5.36 million.

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