— 18mins read
By Paul EMOGHENE
IT was a rainy Thursday morning on the September 15. Some aggrieved Imo State contractors gathered in front of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) head office in Abuja with placards. They were protesting the non-payment of alleged N4.2 Billion owed them by Imo State Universal Basic Education Board, IMSUBEB, which they lamented was crippling their businesses.
Williams Ejiakor, leader of the contractors, told newsmen that the contractors were protesting in front of UBEC head office because the Commission is a major stakeholder and having supervised and released its own counterpart funds, it should prevail on the Imo State government to pay them for contracts executed.
According to Ejiakor, UBEC has advised the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, to pay them but he is insisting that he would not pay for contracts awarded by Emeka Ihedioha, the immediate past governor of Imo state.
“Most of us borrowed money from banks, and the interest is piling every day. We lost a woman three weeks ago. We are appealing to Senator Hope Uzodinma to temper justice with mercy and pay us our money. We did not commit any crime by working for the state. Government is a continuum,” he said.
It was not the first time the contractors would gather and speak on the matter to newsmen with placards in their hands. On July 14, the same contractors stormed the Imo State Government House, Owerri, blocking the entrance gates to demand payment for contracts they executed for IMSUBEB.
In spite of the early morning rains, the aggrieved contractors, numbering over one hundred, sang solidarity songs, bearing placards with such inscriptions as, “IMSUBEB save our souls and pay us”; “Imo government save our properties from our creditors”; “Hope, interests on loans are piling, save our souls”; “UBEC from Abuja has sent the money, please pay us”, amongst other things.
Ironically, that same Tuesday morning, another set of contractors and government officials were gathered at the Conference Hall of IMSUBEB office in Owerri for the opening ceremony of a bid opening process for new UBEC/IMSUBEB Intervention Projects.
Fresh contracts were going to be awarded and the governor, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard T.O Ikegwuoha, assured the contractors who were present for the bidding that the required counterpart fund for the project had been fully paid for by the state and that the project would start from the beginning to the end without interruption.
The governor explained that the project, which will be a six-classroom block in each of the 305 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wards of Imo State, would be of international standard with ICT, water borehole, a First Aid Clinic with a nurse and a kitchen for the home grown feeding programme for primary school pupils. They would also have administrative offices for the headmistresses and assistant headmistresses; all geared towards provision of qualitative education for Imo children.
It sounds great, doesn’t it?
However, when this Journalist caught up with Ejiakor, he alleged that the UBEC/IMSUBEB accounts in Imo State had been frozen. Ejiakor displayed a copy of the letter they wrote to UBEC, which detailed the steps they had taken to get the attention of the Imo State government concerning the non-payment for the work done so far by the contractors.
“And this resulted to UBEC writing the governor a letter and also blocking the account. The account in Zenith bank is now blocked, also by the UBEC law you are not supposed to award any new job without first paying the previous ones up to 70 percent”, said Ejiakor, who claimed that most of the jobs done were 100 percent completed by the contractors.
Upon investigation, it was found that the 2016/2017 UBEC/IMSUBEB Revised Action Plan covered about 265 projects in 25 local government areas (LGAs) of Imo State. Our reporter investigated 20 of the projects located in 20 different schools in 13 LGAs of the State.
He discovered that many of the contracts were haphazardly awarded first, without finding out the needs of the schools. In some schools, one building was slated for innovation, leaving surrounding dilapidated ones unattended.
In other cases, there were discrepancies in the amounts paid out to contractors for same or similar jobs, indicating that there were no set standards. For example, while one contractor was paid over N25 million for the renovation of a block of five classrooms with an office, another one got just over N12 million. Then another contractor got N18 to renovate a block of six classrooms with three offices.
Owerri municipality LGA
At Housing Estate Primary School, Aladinma, Owerri Municipality LGA. the contract to renovate a six classroom block and three offices was awarded to Efob International Limited at the cost of N18, 645,291.00 in 2019. About 80 percent of the project had been executed but the work has stopped. It was gathered that the contractor, like other aggrieved contractors, started work without mobilization but stopped working when he learnt that the new government of Hope Uzodinma was reluctant to pay for the project.
At Community School, Ulakwon, in Owerri North LGA, Cathnel Services Limited got the contract to construct a three classroom block with office and store at a contract sum of N16, 500,000.00. In a document which document is this? (The document is a detailed progress report of work done so far by the contractors, which was compiled by Williams Ejiakor, the chairman of the aggrieved contractors.) made available to this Journalist, the level of work done was put at 75 percent. However, when the reporter visited the school, there was nothing on site to show that any form of construction or renovation was going on.
The fourth photograph looked like a building that was recently built, but it was not a three – classroom block with office, as stated in the contract document but a two classroom block with no office. The building is 100 percent completed, in contrast to the 75 percent of work done in the document. The only building in the school that had UBEC printed on it was a dilapidated block of classrooms.
At the time of visit, schools in Imo State were shut due to Covid-19 lockdown. There were no staff or authority to talk to. Darling FM tracked down Mr. Amanze Chinemere Fred, a representative of Cathnel Services Limited who described the location of the project. “The structure is facing the main road direct. It is between the main road and the football pitch. We have constructed the doors and the windows for the project. We have gotten to the roofing level; that was where we stopped for now”, he explained. The reader would be left guessing here. You should confirm here if any such structure exists or not.
The reporter went back to Community School, Ulakwon to verify his claim and found an abandoned structure that fits Mr. Fred’s description.
When asked why there was no worker on site, Mr. Fred said they had not been paid at all for the project and that they are pleading with the Imo State government to release funds so that the project can be completed.
Next stop was at Inyishi Central School and Ugirike Community Primary School, both in Ikeduru LGA. At Inyishi Central School, the contract to renovate a block of eight classrooms and office building was awarded to Austin Best Building Resources Ltd at the cost of N14, 850,800.00.
When our reporter visited the site, he saw a building with eight classrooms and an office that was recently renovated with new doors, new windows, new roof and painting. However, the headmistress, who does not want to be named, said the renovation was poorly done. According to her, there were no toilets for staff and students, the doors and windows were wrongly fixed, and she expressed worry that the students may not be provided with chairs, desks or even boards to write on.
Builder Austin Best, the contractor in charge of the project via a phone interview said the contract did not include toilet facilitates for the students or teachers, or provision of desks or boards for learning. On why the windows and doors were wrongly fixed, he blamed the headmistress for introducing an incompetent welder for the job. He claimed he had gone back with another welder to correct the errors and that the work is 100 percent completed.
At Ugirike Community Primary School in Ikeduru LGA, a block of three classrooms under renovation was awarded to Patcordel Ventures at the contract sum of N9, 036,708.20. When our reporter visited the school, he saw a heap of sharp sand in front of the project and scraps of roofing sheets inside the uncompleted building, which indicated that the renovation was recent. Though the building had been roofed, it had no ceiling, no windows and no doors. The wall was yet to be plastered and painted. The project seemed to have been abandoned as there was no worker on site.
Owerri West LGA
At Nekede Secondary School, Owerri West LGA, the renovation of a five-classroom block was awarded to Eldov Transnational Services Limited at the cost of N17, 288,985.00. Mr. Elochukwu Agha, the contact person for the company claimed that the work done was 80 percent. Our reporter saw a five-classroom block being renovated, but there were no workmen on site. The building had a new roof, new doors and windows, cemented walls but yet to be painted. The doors were locked so he could not gain access to ascertain the work done inside the classrooms. The entire school was deserted on the day of visitation.
At Ara Secondary School, also in Owerri West LGA, the renovation of a block of five classrooms was awarded to Benjonalson Nig Limited for N12, 555,467.40. The contractor, Engr. Emeka Anyanwu, claimed that the work is 80 percent completed but what our reporter saw was a building that had been partially demolished and new blocks were being used to patch up the walls. The building had no roof, and no ceiling, no windows or doors. The renovation appeared to be ongoing as woods were hanging from the roof and all over the floor. Also seen were sharp sand and building blocks but the project was far from being 80 percent completed from the reporter’s assessment. There was no worker on site and the school was also deserted.
Isu LGA –
The renovation of a five-classroom block in Central School II, Ekwe was awarded to Panda Giant Developers Ltd at the cost of N11, 420,539.73. The progress report of work done so far by the contractors, as compiled by Williams Ejiakor, the chairman of the aggrieved contractors says the project is 90 percent completed.
Our reporter saw a completely renovated L – shaped five classroom block when he visited the school. The building was not labelled and as such proper verification of who renovated it could not be ascertained. Apart from the renovated building, other structures were in bad shape. The school also has another section named Central School 1. This section needs urgent intervention and overall rehabilitation.
B.U Igweokwu and Associates got the contract to construct a three-classroom block with office, store and toilet at the cost of N16, 500,000.00 in State Primary School, Amandugba. The site engineer who is also the contractor Mr. Boniface Igweokwu claimed that the work is 70 percent completed.
However, what is on ground is an abandoned skeleton of a building that has been built up to lintel level. There was also an abandoned borehole project in the school compound, which was not fenced and the surroundings were over grown with weeds.
Mr. Boniface Igweokwu said the government’s refusal to pay contractors is the reason why the project is abandoned at the moment.
“I have done more than 40-50 buildings, through-out Imo State, in every local government, from Achike Udenwa regime to Ikedi Ohakim, Rochas Okorocha, Emeka Ihedioha and I’ve not seen any government like this Hope Uzodinma’s government. We should have finished this job. The students are supposed to be using this project by now. As I’m talking with you, thieves have stolen all the building materials at the site. If Governor Hope Uzodinma knows the kind of suffering he is causing us, he will pity for us. We can’t sleep normally anymore. We are paying interest, not less than five hundred thousand naira every month on the money we borrowed to make sure we execute these jobs”, he said.
Pete Vincent Entreprises got the contract to renovate a four-classroom block and office at the cost of N10, 589,853.12 in Oguiji Community Primary School. The contractor Sir James Uzoma claimed that the work is 80 percent completed but when we visited, we could not find any structure that was undergoing renovation or construction. The only building with a UBEC sign on it was already in use. Please what exactly does the sign say? Does it give any details you can quote? The sign is UBEC/SUBEB 2009 PROJECT.
Sir Uzoma, in a phone interview insisted that the work he did was the newest building in the school and that what is left for the work to be completed is painting, “If you are entering the school, the building I did is by the left hand side. I have finished my building from ground level, I have roofed it. I have put the whole doors and the whole windows.” Please you need to cconfirm – is this the building you say is under use?
When our reporter went back to Oguiji Community Primary School to verify Sir Uzoma’s claim, a project that fits the contractor’s description was found just by the entrance of the school.
The reporter missed it the first time he visited because there was no sign post to show that the building was a UBEC/IMSUBEB project.
At Ubaha Township Primary School, E Works & Engineering Services Company got the contract to renovate a four-classroom block, office and store at the cost of N10, 589,853.12. Builder Oliver Junior, the project manager for E works and Engineering Services Company claimed that the work was 95 percent done. He described the project as the only recently renovated building in the school.
“The school is seriously suffering from dilapidated buildings, they only have two structures standing there, one of them is the one I have concluded, and it is painted yellow with a green roof.” The Project Manager said.
When our reporter visited Ubaha Township Primary School, he saw that the only building in the school that looked like a recently renovated classroom block had no sign to show that it was done by IMSUBEB/UBEC.
Builder Oliver blamed the Works Department of IMSUBEB for their failure to mount a sign post to indicate the project and the contractor handling the project. He said they have finished the project and sent a letter to IMSUBEB for inspection and payment, and that IMSUBEB has visited and confirmed the work done but they have not been paid a dime.
At Unity primary school, a contract was awarded for the renovation of a five-classroom block with Office at the cost of N25, 126,951.50 to Wijiak Nigeria Limited, which, interestingly, belongs to Williams Ejiakor, the chairman of IMSUBEB contractors who has been at the forefront of the protests. Also interesting is the fact that other contracts for the construction of five classroom blocks with office cost far less, sometimes even half of this.
Ejiakor claimed that the project is 80 percent completed. The reporter could not see any special reason why the renovation of a five – classroom block with office was awarded for a contract sum of N25 million. It does not have any special design to justify the contract sum. Parts of the old building were even being patched with new blocks. When the reporter spoke with the contractor about the contract amount, he said he did not determine the bid, so such question should be directed to IMSUBEB.
Ejiakor also said that the government had not paid him anything for the job done.
The project for Priscilla Memorial Sec School also in Oguta LGA is a solar powered borehole with a contract sum of N4, 225,000.0 and awarded to Blez Integrated Services. Mr. Edwin Nwosu, the contact person for the company said the project is 95 perfect completed.
However, when our reporter visited, there was no indicator of an ongoing work for the installation of solar powered borehole in the school. At the time of visit, the school was not in session due to Covid-19 lockdown so we could not get information about the project from the school authority. We however met Mr. Ndubuagwa, a resident of the community inside the school premises who took us round the school. From our verification, we found two Man-Power Pump taps, which were not functional. We also saw an unnamed, uncompleted borehole structure right in front of the principal’s office that fits the description of the IMSUBEB project. It seemed work had been suspended. The only UBEC project seen in the school was that of 2008.
Ubah Community School is the third school visited in Oguta LGA. Oweni Nigeria Limited got the contract to construct a three-classroom block at the cost of N16, 500,000.00.
At the school premises, our reporter saw a building under construction that fits the description of a three-classroom block. The building has green roof but the walls had not been plastered and it had no ceiling, doors or windows. A heap of sharp sand overgrown with weeds was in front of the building. Aside the uncompleted building most of the school facilities were in bad shape.
Wisdom Ukaegbu, a resident in the community who worked as a bricklayer on the project, said the work started in December 2019 but has been abandoned since February of 2020.
At the New School in Ikenazizi community, Obowo LGA, Lynbon Integrated Ltd got the contract to renovate two classrooms and an office at the sum of N6, 000,000.00.
The reporter saw a completely renovated building with a new green colored roof and yellow painting when he visited. It has green colored doors and windows that were shut and padlocked with keys.
At Ofekata Comprehensive Secondary School in Mbaitoli LGA, Benzo Associates Limited got the contract to install a solar-powered borehole at a contract sum of N4, 460,000.00. In the progress report document, the project completion was put at 80 percent, but when the reporter visited, the project was already in use.
It was also noticed that the contract ID was on the project. The reporter wanted to find out why the project was already in use when the Imo State government is yet to pay for it and who wrote the contract ID on the project.
Mr. Duru Benneth, the spokesperson for Benzo Associates Limited said that they finished the project within a month and handed it over to IMSUBEB in the presence of the school management, students and people from the community, with the hope that they would get paid within a short time.
He said the borehole had been in use for more than five months, serving both the school and the community but all effort to get the Imo state government to pay has fallen on deaf ears.
“We have taken so many steps to get our money, one, by writing to the government, both open and private letter, and then also to SUBEB Acting Chairman who seems helpless. We have also written to UBEC who is the supervisory agency to IMSUBEB. we have protested at government house, where they came and addressed us, we have also moved to Abuja for a protest at UBEC office, and since then we’ve writing letters, raising voices, the last thing we did was to resort to fasting and prayer and leave everything to God”, Mr. Benneth said.
At Alaogidi Primary School, in Ideato North LGA the project also had the contract ID on the wall. Spectrum Contractors who got the contract to construct a three – classroom block with office, toilet and store at a contract sum of N16, 500,000.00, claimed that the work done is 100 percent.
The reporter could not gain access into the building to check the inside for the toilet, office and store because it was locked. However, he saw a completely renovated building with green roof, windows and doors. The walls had brown colored brick designs, which was by far the best compared to the other schools visited.
Engr. Kingsley Okwara, the technical director for Spectrum Contractors said the doors are locked and the project not in use by the staff and students of the school because the Imo State government is yet to pay for the construction. He said the school headmistress can attest that the building has three classrooms, an office, a store and toilet facility, and that they even went a step further to furnish the classrooms with white boards.
“After completing the project, I personally went to see the Acting Chairman of IMSUBEB to give her my project completion letter and request for payment, but she rejected the letter. I went again two weeks later but they’ve been giving me different stories. We sourced for funds and started the work in good faith. My creditors are on my neck and I don’t know where to start. We finished the work since February, and since then I’ve been paying loans”, he lamented.
When Darling FM wrote to IMSUBEB requesting for an interview with the Acting Chairman, the request was rejected on the basis of that she is in acting capacity.
Davanla Limited got the contract for the construction of a three – classroom block with office, store and toilet at the cost of N16, 500,000.00 at the Unity Primary School, Obinwanne – Umuaka, in Njaba LGA. Mr. Nocholas Elochukwu Agha, the managing director of Davanla Limited claimed that the work done is 75 percent completed.
Our reporter saw an uncompleted building built to lintel level. It had no roof, no plastering and there were no building materials like sand, gravel and wood at the site, to suggest that work was ongoing.
Mr. Agha, said they suspended work on the project since March 2020 because the Imo State government instructed that contractors should not be paid.
“They have refused to evaluate the work done. They said they will set up a committee to look into the matter but nothing has been done. They refused to attend to the letter of evaluation we sent to the Acting Chairman. When a job has been done up to 75 percent the contractor is supposed to be paid for work done, but nothing has been paid. I had to dispose one of my property in Lagos to fund this project, I even had a terrible accident when I was coming to request for my money…it’s just terrible”, he lamented.
The contract detail says Nick Peace Limited got the contract to renovate a five-classroom block at the cost of 18,794,169.98 in Nguru Umuaro Secondary School.
There is evidence of renovation of a five classrooms block inside the school premises. The building had a new green roof with no ceiling. The old walls of the classrooms were patched with new blocks. Apart from a small heap of sand seen in front of the building, there was nothing else to show that the work was ongoing.
However, Leo Oke, an old student of the school who was inside the school said the building was being renovated by the Old Boys Association of the school, and not by IMSUBEB/UBEC.
The school was closed when the reporter visited so he could not verify Oke’s claim. Also, all efforts to reach the contractor for comments failed. Please it is not enough to say you could not reach the contractor. State what the efforts were. When and by call or text. What were your questions. Darling FM reached out to Williams Ejiakor, the Chairman of the aggrieved contractors for Nick Peace Limited’s phone number, after IMSUBEB refused to attend to request for information about the contractors. Williams provided a phone number that he said belong to the contractor. Darling FM called the number severally and sent a text requesting for information about the IMSUBEB project at Nguru Umuaro Secondary School, but there was no response.
A similar scenario played out when the reporter visited Ngor Okpala High School where Phillip Darason Dynamic Venture got the contract to renovate a school hall and offices at the cost of N9, 250,310.00.
Abara Calistus, a Project Manager the reporter met at building site inside the school premises said the renovation of the hall and office was done by the Old Boys Association of the school and not IMSUBEB/UBEC. He wondered why the Imo State government would choose to renovate a school hall when the classrooms and laboratory were in dire need of renovation.
The contractor, Philip Darason, said that the hall the Old Boys Association built is different from the one constructed by his company and that his is 100 percent completed.
“I have all the evidence. You should have met the principal of the school; they are in the position to show you the IMSUBEB project. We finished the project since April. We gave the notice to IMSUBEB that we were through with the project. Instead of paying us they told us that the government has not settled down so we should exercise patience”.
“Till now I have not been paid! I took loan from Sterling Bank to finish this work. My father died in July and I don’t have money to bury him. I never expected that my father will be in the mortuary for seven months now, but in all things I give God the glory. Please help me beg the Governor to pay us our money…please pay us our money”, Darason pleaded.
Schools in Imo state were shut down because of Covid-19 at the time our reporter visited many of the schools so the school authorities could not be reached for comment in many instances.
Another thing we observed was that the previous IMSUBEB/UBEC projects in the schools were either 2009 or 2013 Action Plans, which implies that they have no IMSUBEB/UBEC projects for 2014 and 2015. The 2016 and 2017 Action Plans are now being implemented in 2020, but with the impasse between the Imo State government and contractors, no one is certain of when the projects would be completed, inaugurated and handed over to the schools.
Professor Obioma Iheduru, who was the Executive Chairman of IMSUBEB at the time the 2016/2017 IMSUBEB contracts were awarded provided some explanation.
“N3.8 Billion came from the Federal government for those three project years (2016, 2017 and 2018) and to access it, you have to pay your matching grant of 50 percent, which is N3.8 billion. The previous administration under Governor Rochas Okorocha was unable to pay it. It was after the election of Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha in 2019, that money was paid, and that money came from Paris Fund Refunds that was due to the state”.
As for the 2016/2017 Action Plan, Prof. Iheduru said the IMSUBEB board decided to renovate one school in the 305 wards of Imo state at a budget sum of N4, 656, 740, 421, 14, but rather than award contracts for 305 projects they settled for 285 in 25 LGAs, so 20 projects in two LGAs were excluded because the budget could not go round.
Darling FM invited a Civil Engineer Mr. Okoro George, to take a look at some of the pictures taken from the project sites and estimate the cost of the projects. Mr. George said the renovation of a five-classrooms block in Nekede Secondary School, for example, which has a contract sum of N17, 288,985.00 should not be more than N3 million.
“Building a new six-classroom block will cost close to N9 million from foundation to the finishing. We built some in Abakaliki in 2019 for the Ebonyi State government,” the engineer stated.
Darling FM wrote to Imo State Bureau of Public Procurement, Price Intelligence and Related Matters (BPPPI) to find out if IMSUBEB followed due process in fixing the prices for the contracts and whether the contractors met the requirements of the agency before the contracts were awarded. What happened? You did not say anything about their reaction
The Bureau advised that enquiries should be directed to the Chairman, Imo State Universal Basic Education Board (IMSUBEB) for appropriate response.
Darling FM also wrote to IMSUBEB to request for an interview with the Executive Chairman. The letter was acknowledged but the Secretary said they could not grant the request because the chairman is in acting capacity.
However, Prof. Bernard Thompson Ikegwuoha the Commissioner for Education accepted our invitation for a radio interview.
When asked why the Imo state Government was yet to pay the IMSUBEB contractors?, the Commissioner for Education said the contractors went about organizing protests and talking to the Press instead of bringing their grievances to his office, and that when Williams Ejiakor, the chairman of the aggrieved contractors eventually brought the matter to his notice, he decided to set up a five-man committee at IMSUBEB to help him know the fact of the matter, since the contracts were awarded before he became the commissioner for education. The commissioner used the opportunity, during the live radio broadcast to announce that every aggrieved contractor should go and individually lay their complaint before the committee.
The interviewer asked the commissioner to explain why a committee had to be set up when the records of the contracts are with IMSUBEB, his response was that he needs to get the contract documents from the contractors and juxtapose them with records at IMSUBEB.
“You know what happens in Nigeria, they may perfect the document at IMSUBEB. Remember, the Chairman of IMSUBEB is now EX, Professor Iheduru. Remember, the Governor of Imo State who awarded the contract is now EX. They may perfect the document here, but what the other ones have are not the real thing. I’m not alleging anything, but it is better to err on the side of caution” he says.
During a prior interview with Prof. Obioma Iheduru, the immediate past chairman of IMSUBEB, who was present when the contracts were awarded, Prof Iheduru said the contractors were not being attended to because IMSUBEB do not have an executive chairman, and that the bank account of IMSUBEB has been frozen by UBEC due to illegality currently going on at IMSUBEB.
When these claims by Prof. Iheduru were brought before the commissioner for education, he said Prof. Ozioma Iheduru was wrong.
“IMSUBEB account is not frozen as of today. Secondly, the board as has been said will be constituted very soon… the Governor has to take his time to make sure he appoints the right people at the right places, and one last thing, UBEC is a joint venture with Imo State, they give 50 percent and Imo State gives counterpart funding of 50 percent, if they want to freeze account, they freeze their 50 percent, they cannot freeze the 50 percent that belongs to Imo” the commissioner said.
However, available information as can be seen in Part 6.2 in the document above (SEE ATTACHMENT FOR DOCUMENT) shows that the 2016 and 2017 projects were awarded with the full knowledge of both Imo State government and the federal entities, and that UBEC did not receive any complaints either from Imo state BPPPI or other state agencies concerning the contracts.
Also, in a letter written to Governor Hope Uzodinma, and dated 8th May, 2020, UBEC revealed that IMSUBEB, in the Nation’s Newspaper of Monday 4th May 2020, invited the public to tender for UBEC/IMSUBEB projects, without mentioning the intervention year or source of funding. UBEC clearly reminded the Imo State government that the 2016 and 2017 intervention projects should have been completed and payment for work done.
After the radio interview with the Commissioner for Education and his announcement that all aggrieved contractors should go meet a 5-man committee at IMSUBEB, Williams Ejiakor came to Darling FM to say that no committee was set up by the commissioner. He said the letter above has been sent to the commissioner to inform him of their findings and that he was yet to get.
Be that as it may, the charade between Imo State government and IMSUBEB contractors continues with all the stakeholders suffering in the face off. The government appears to be persecuting the contractors because the contracts were awarded by a defunct opposition government. To save the situation, Imo state government should verify the claims of work done and pay the contractors accordingly.
* This investigative report was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR.