COVID-19 contractors storm FCTA secretariat over unpaid fees

CONTRACTORS who supplied Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) with COVID-19 machines, kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stormed the secretariat on Monday to protest over unpaid contract fees.

The contractors, blocking the entrance of the FCTA secretariat, carried placards with various inscriptions and demanded that the minister offset the debt, which had remained unpaid for nearly three years.

The demonstration resulted in traffic gridlock along the route as the protesters prevented motorists from moving in and out of the FCTA secretariat.

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Speaking to journalists, one of the contractors, Michael Ewoma, said the FCTA had promised to clear the debts but was yet to honour the agreement between both parties.

He also said contractors could not pay loans incurred while providing the FCTA with the supplies.



    “We are appealing to the minister to pay this money so that contractors who came out to do these jobs will be happy. We need to pay back our loans.

    “This is almost three years, and nothing has been done. You would recall that sometime last year, we had a similar peaceful protest with the same demand which resulted in partial payment. As it stands today, some contractors have not received a dime as payment. A lot are owed 20 per cent balance of the contract sum,” he said.

    The contractors demanded total payment of the debts and gave a one-week ultimatum to the FCT authorities.

    However, no official of the FCTA addressed the protesters throughout the protest.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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