Contractors protest over non-payment for 2013 MDGs projects
THERE was a protest Thursday by some contractors handling the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects across the country over what they called “non-payment of 2013 State House MDGs projects.”
T he contractors with their placard which reads: “Mr. President please pay us our money for work well done,” “Gbeneol please stop using our money for politics” and “State House MDGs contractors 2013 demand for payment” lamented that they have suffered losses by the various banks they borrowed money to do the projects.
According to them, the projects, which they undertook since 2013, include: building of classroom, boreholes and road traffic lights among others.
One of the contractors, Mr. Ethel Odimegwu, the Managing Director, Ethel Properties Development Company Limited, complained bitterly that some of them borrowed money to execute these projects but have not been paid their full money.
He urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders to come to their aid. “The protest is all about the contractors of MDGs 2013. Sometimes in 2013, the management of MDGs advertised in daily newspapers for their projects which we followed all the due process. We bided for these jobs and after thorough scrutiny they awarded those that qualified these projects. Then they mobilized us with 15% and we took it because MDGs aimed to reduce poverty. We took it upon ourselves as Nigerians. We have come to zero point. We borrowed heavily to execute these projects and we have finished these projects.
Since 2013 till date they have refused to pay us. When they came to 2014 they awarded the same projects to their friends and cronies and paid them 100%. Now what happened for the 2013 projects? Many of us are suffering. We employed so many people and we have not paid them. We are over three thousand companies.
“They have been promising us that they will pay but all to no avail. They are suppose to pay us last December but they said money is coming and that we should have patience and that is how they have been doing every time. We need to cry out because we are not motivated by anybody. We are pleading to Mr. President and the leaders of this country. We are pleading with the management of MDGs, all concerned Nigerians to come to our aid,” he added.
Mrs. Pat Okolie, another contractor said, “For me they are owing me more then N200 million. Do I look like somebody that has a million to pay to those I owe? It is because of the state they kept me.”
The organizer, National President, Advocate for People Rights and Justice (APRJ), Victor Giwa, said that they are involved because they advocate for justice, adding, “2013 State House MDGs contractors are demanding for their full payment and that is what we are saying. However, a source from the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, who pleaded anonymity attributed the protest to politics, adding that they will receive their money in due time.