We'll Sue Obiano for Refusing to Pay Us — Indigenous Road Contractors
A group of indigenous contractors in Anambra State, have threatened to sue the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for owing and refusing to pay them for the contract of rehabilitation of roads in various parts of the state, which they executed in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
This was contained in a statement the contractors issued in Awka the state capital, signed by Mr. Samuel Stuff, and in which they also explained that they have made several efforts to secure the release of their money, which they said, all proved abortive.
They revealed that the jobs were awarded to then without issuance of award letters, which implies that they were lured into doing the jobs under the 'Complete Your Job and Get Paid' deal, even without mobilization cost
The statement reads in part, "We accepted and did the work in utmost good faith, being firmly hopeful that we would get paid as soon as we finished the work. Our acceptance, trust and confidence was based on the Governor's track record in prompt payment of workers' salaries in the state since he came into power, and on his clearing off arrears previously owned by the state, among various feats he has recorded in various sectors of the state as a man of his word.
"It is, however, surprising to us, that since the completion of the jobs in 2018 and 2019, no contractor among us has received a dime from the governor, till date."
The contractors, in the statement, further revealed that the failure of the government to pay them the money on the completion of the rehabilitation works as promised, has not only made life 'very hard' for them and their families, but has also thrown them into a deep pool of indebtedness to financial institutions from which they borrowed huge sum of money to execute the projects.
They also disclosed that the interests accruing from the borrowing, have skyrocketed over the years, such that it could gulp very huge chunk of the money when finally released.
They further opined that the Governor or the concerned officials might be tactically delaying their pay to tarry till the expiration of his tenure.
The statement reads: "We have written several letters (which were never responded to), met and discussed with some concerned authorities and principal government staff, all with the aim of securing our payment. But all these efforts never yielded the expected result.
"Having explored all these diplomatic means that all proved abortive, we have therefore resolved to institute legal actions against the Governor once court resumes from vacation, over his refusal to settle our bills, irrespective of all the several efforts and appeals made, without any positive outcome."
When contacted, the state's Commissioner for Works, Engr. Marcel Ifejiofor said denied contractors' claim that the state government owes them, and said they should come to the ministry with the necessary documents and their evidence to substantiate their claims.
He said, "If they are sure of what they are saying, they should come to Ministry of Works with their award letter, bill of quantity and other necessary documents to substantiate their claims."