Contractors numbering over 200 on Monday converge in protest at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister’s office in Abuja, over unpaid COVID-19 medical and non-medical supplies to the FCT Administration.
The contractors said they executed various COVID-19 contracts for the FCTA between March 2020 and April 2021, without being paid, accused the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, of allegedly being behind their travail.
Messrs Ewoma Michael and Dan Dayo, who spoke on behalf of the protesters also claimed that the permanent secretary was paying some contractors, especially those who agreed to receive part payment, at the detriment of other contractors.
They said some of them contracted the virus while supplying the medical and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in the FCT.
“Some of us took loans to meet up with the supply,” Dayo said.
Two contractors, Chief Nelcy Mokwenye and Mr. Emmanuel Nwachendu, said the allegation against a government official asking for N1m bribe before contractors would be paid was true.
“This is one year running. What we are hearing is that each of the contractors has to pay N1 million bribe to the official before we can be paid,” Nwachendu said.
Reacting, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade, denied ever asking for N1m bribe.
He said the delay in the payment was due to the contractors failure to meet the administrative requirements.
“I am not aware of any payment of N1m. The only instruction I gave was that all documents should be in a file before any payment can be made.”