19 April 2021 By Remi Johnson
Some Contractors, engaged by the Federal Capital Territory Administration to supply goods and personal protective equipments during the peak of COVID 19 last year, have staged a peaceful protest, demanding for their payments.
The aggrieved Contractors alleged that the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola was deliberately delaying their payments.
According to one of the Contractors, Emmanuel Nwachendu ,many of the Contractors that collected loans from banks to execute the contracts, were now counting their losses as the interest on the loan had over time, accumulated beyond the expected profits.
He further alleged that Mr Adesola was making selective payment to some Contractors that agreed to give him one million naira bribe.
” we started hearing that they are collecting 0.5% and some said they were asking for N1 million bribe from each of the contractors”.We supplied medical equipment, PPEs but since that last year it has been one story or the other. What we heard initially was that procurement processes was suspended and these money was supposed to have been paid within two weeks, maximum 1 month, of supply. Some of us took loan to be able to meet up with the supply.”
The Angry Contractors who were chanting songs of solidarity, were also seen carrying placards with inscriptions such as: Pay us our Money, FCTA Permanent Secretary enough is enough, FCTA diverts funds meant for COVID 19 Contractors among others.
Addressing the aggrieved protesters, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola reassured the Contractors of FCTA’s commitment to clear the debt in no distant time.
He denied ever asking any Contractor for one million naira before payment.
” I am not aware of any payment of 1 million Naira. The only instruction I gave was that all documents should be in a file before any payment…The payment is in batches, we have paid other
Contractors below N10m… If there are issues, the contractors are the cause because they are yet to meet with the requirements”, Adesola hinted.
Explaining further, the Permanent Secretary who attributed the delay in payments to dwindling internal revenue generation and expected funds from the Federal Government , said despite paucity of funds, FCTA had so far paid 109 contractors in batches that supplied Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) and 54 contractors in other Secretariats, Departments and Agencies (SDAs).