BY IGHO OYOYO |
Aggrieved contractors numbering over 200 have appealed to the minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello to assuage their plight by paying the money owed to them by the FCT Administration.
The contractors said since they made the COVID-19 medical and non-medical supplies to the FCT Administration, the authorities had refused to pay them despite a series of promises.
The contractors, who claimed to have executed various COVID-19 contracts for the FCT between March 2020 and April 2021, accused a top FCT official of being behind their travails.
One of the contractors, Mr Idako Victor, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues at a press briefing, claimed that FCT official had been paying some of the contractors, especially those who had agreed to receive part payments to the detriment of others.
He alleged that some of them contracted the virus while supplying the medical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other items used to curb the spread of the pandemic in the FCT.
Victor said: “What we heard initially was that the procurement process was suspended and this money was supposed to have been paid within two weeks, maximum one month of supply. Some of us took loans to meet up with the supplies. But since then nothing has been paid to us.”
“Because of this, we have been having peaceful protests as civilised Nigerians, just to let the authorities know our plight and prayers, but they are not ready to do anything about it. Two weeks ago, we had a protest which was reported in all the media.
“After the protest, they told us to delegate people to interact with them, which we did. We delegated seven of us to interact with them. But, as I am talking to you, we do not even know what they are doing; we have been waiting for their response to no avail.
“We have been trying to see the minister and other relevant authorities, but it has not been possible. We do not know what is happening. These supplies have been done for more than a year and we are yet to receive our payment. We have people to take care of and salaries to pay,” he said.