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 Protesting contractors barricade NDDC, demand N2tn payment

Protesting contractors barricade NDDC, demand N2tn payment


Scores of contractors, on Monday, block the entrance to the Niger Delta Development Commission headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in protest against the 10-year debts owed them by the agency.

The protesters, under the aegis of the Contractors Association of the NDDC, who displayed banners and chanted solidarity songs, barricaded the gate of the commission’s office and called for the inauguration of the substantive board for the interventionist agency.

Some of the inscriptions on the banners read, ‘Change is now’ and ‘Senator Godswill Akpabio, contractors are dying, pay our contractors’.

While noting that the protest would continue until their demands were met, they said most of their members were owed for jobs executed over 10 years.

The Chairman of the association, Joe Adia, who spoke to journalists, said the NDDC owed them over N2tn in the period under review.

Adia lamented that the situation had caused them untold hardship, pointing out that if a substantive board was in place, things might have been different.

He said, “The point is that there must be an end to this evil. They owe us over N2tn for 10 years. We are saying that today will be the last time the NDDC will keep short-changing the destinies of contractors in the commission.

“They owe us and we are here. We want them to pay us and we want them to constitute a board. Is there anything wrong with this commission? One man running this commission does not make sense. They should come and inaugurate the board.

“And how can contractors survive? They are dying because for 10 years, they are being owed. Even little ticket jobs of N5m, they still owe till today, which means they are not interested in paying the contractors.

“This protest will continue because we are victims and we have to say we do not want to die for the business we have. They have to pay us our money.”

The President of the association in the region, Sylvester Iyade-Tonye, said, “The commission owes us 10-year debts. Everybody knows that the commission is indebted to contractors and the contractors have come together as an association to say enough is enough.

“We can no longer take it because our contractors are dying off. After all, banks are on their necks and some of their properties have been lost.

“As far as we are concerned, it is our right; we worked for you; you should pay us. We are saying they should pay us our money and inaugurate a board that will ensure sanity in this place.”

When contacted, the mobile telephone of the Director, Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Dr Ibitoye Abosede, indicated that it was busy.

He had yet to reply to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.

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