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Unpaid contractors give agric ministry one week ultimatum to clear debts

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The concerned unpaid 2018 federal ministry of agriculture and rural development contractors have given the ministry one-week ultimatum to pay the outstanding debt of face legal action.

The aggrieved contractors made their position known at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday.

Chairman of the group Nwanebu Elias said the contractors bided and were successfully awarded contracts of N40 billion in 2018 to execute different projects, but lamented that till date, they haven’t been paid for the job executed, neither has certificate of completion is given to them.

He said the group had exhausted all ways possible to recover their monies which most of them took on a loan to execute the projects.

“As a matter of fact, the permanent secretary grand stood and said he is not going to pay 2018/2019 projects with 2019 appropriation whereas N30bn of 2018 appropriation was used to pay 2017 debts and another N7.2bn was used from 2018 appropriation to procure an uncompleted building which was not appropriated for in 2018 by the ministry.

“Therefore we are urging the federal government to compel the ministry of agriculture and rural development to pay 2018 contractors the debt being owed for projects executed without further delay.

“We also want the ministry to pay contractors immediately before paying 2019 executed projects because N10 billion from 2019 appropriation was used to pay some selected 2018 contractors.

“We are giving them one-week ultimatum to do so or we will resort to legal action against them,” he added.

Speaking further, coordinator of the group, Daniel Mozie said “Most of the contractors took loans to execute the projects and as a result, have seen their hoses taken over by banks for inability to repay”

He urged the ministry to respect the contract agreement between both parties and pay them the money which they worked for.

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