By Bashir Adefaka
An appeal has gone to the Federal Government and states owing construction companies in the country over completed and ongoing projects to pay up to save the contractors from pains.
Some laid off workers of some of the companies, particularly those working on Eastern roads, who spoke to Vanguard, yesterday, said they were sacked by their companies because they had no money to cope with paying their salaries.
Confirming the development, a director of one of the companies said it was true that construction companies had embarked on retrenchments because, according to him, they could neither move on with jobs on sites nor continue to carry on with workers’ salaries in situation of non-payments by the governments they worked for.
He said, “They promised to pay but they never fulfilled their promises. The Federal Government owes us especially on the work we are contracted to do on Enugu-Onitsha-Port Harcourt road and states
like Ondo, Delta and few others are owing us. How then can contractors go on with jobs and how can they pay salaries?
“The danger in this is the ability of the situation to brew criminals because the idle hand they say is devil’s workshop.”
One of the companies, whose operations have been affected by the governments’ debt is CCC Nigeria Company. When contacted, public relations officer of the company, Prince Morgan confirmed that the
company was being owed by the Federal Government and some states. While he could not confirm the amount CCC was being owed, Morgan said Delta State owed his company about N18 billion.
His word, “Yes, we are affected but I cannot quote the exact amounts.
We have the facts on record. All I can tell you now is that Federal Government is owing us a lot of money and Delta State government is owing us up to N18 billion. That has affected our Nigerian workers and even the expatriates,” he said.
In the meantime, some of the laid off workers had appealed the governments concerned to consider their welfare, which they said had never been this bad when they were at work, by paying their employers.
“We believe that they will recall us to work once they are paid and they have the money to work and pay our salaries because they cannot do all the jobs by themselves. They need us and so the Federal
Government and the states owing them should pay up for the sake of God,” they appealed.