September 21, 2023

Aggrieved Contractors to Umahi: Pay us for job done, we’re having hardship

concrete road construction


Omeiza Ajayi

Some aggrieved Contractors handling projects for the Federal Ministry of Works have appealed to the Minister, Engr. David Umahi, to pay them for jobs done, lamenting that the non-payment of their contract sums is causing them untold hardship.

According to them, the Office of Accountant General of the Federation had recently released N57 billion for contracts funded through the national budget.

Such monies are released on a monthly basis in line with World Bank’s bottom-up policy where details of all works completed are always sent to the office of the Accountant General which in turn, release money for payment.

Speaking to journalists Thursday evening in Abuja, the contractors claimed that such payments are being made to contractors who handled projects in different MDAs except the Ministry of Works.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Bolarinwa Akinpelu wondered why the case of the Ministry of Works is different even as he appealed to President Bola Tinubu to direct the minister to pay the contractors without further delay.

He said; “We collected facilities for these projects and need to pay back. Now that the projects have been delivered with certificates of completion made available, why is Umahi delaying the payment since he has received the money from the AG’s office?”

Akinpelu alleged that the works minister, for reasons best known to him, has refused to direct that they be paid and accused him of grounding activities in the ministry.

“Everything people see is mere window dressing. Umahi rarely treats files and only a few have their files treated” he said.

Flanked by some contractors, Akinpelu continued; “Contractors want to avoid a show down or even litigations with the minister and the ministry hence our appeal to him to urgently pay us our money for projects delivered and certified okay”.

He alleged that Umahi directed the Director of Procurement to cancel some key contracts already awarded for which some of the contractors had started work insisting that such actions could lead to litigations.

Their complaint is coming on the heels of claims by Umahi who during a meeting with contractors handling road dualization projects funded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company NNPC that the federal government has N431bn ready for contractors.