- The contractors claim the Federation recently released N57 billion for contracts funded through the national budget
- 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
Several contractors who have been working on projects for the Federal Ministry of Works are requesting payment from Minister Engr. David Umahi.
They are expressing their frustration and hardship caused by the delay in receiving their contract sums.
The contractors mentioned that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation recently released N57 billion for contracts funded through the national budget.
According to them, these funds are typically released monthly in accordance with the World Bank’s bottom-up policy. The policy requires the submission of completion details for all works, which are then sent to the Accountant General’s office for payment.
During a press conference in Abuja on Thursday evening, the contractors stated that payments have been made to contractors working on projects in various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) except for 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.
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”.
It is alleged that Engr. David Umahi, the Minister, instructed the Director of Procurement to cancel certain important contracts that had already been awarded. Some of the contractors had already begun work on these projects, and the cancellation could potentially result in legal disputes.
The contractors’ concerns arise following statements made by Umahi in a meeting with contractors who are working on road dualization projects funded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC). Umahi claimed that the federal government has N431 billion available for contractors.