There was chaos on Monday morning when some aggrieved contractors, who supplied COVID-19 Machines and other medical equipment to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) staged a peaceful protest.
They barricaded the entrance gate of the FCTA secretariat, demanding full payment of their contract money.
They were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions, like: ‘Dear Minister, put an end to this wickedness, pay COVID-19 contractors, their money is close to three years already’; ‘We are tired of fake promises,’ and ‘we need our money now,’ among others.
One of the contractors Micheal Ewoma, who spoke with reporters, accused the FCTA management of reneging in the agreement of prompt payment after three years of supplies.
He said: “It may interest you to know that by March 2023 it will be three years the FCTA is owing us our money. Considering the politics going on presently, we do not want to be tied to nonpayment because of the electioneering period we are appealing to the government to pay us the money, because a lot of people are in debt and our staff has not been paid salaries for months.’’
“It has been difficult for all of us. That is why we are appealing to the minister to pay this money so that contractors who came out to do these jobs will also be happy. We need to pay back our loans.’’
“The FCTA management having promised after we consulted with them severally have failed to honour all agreements with COVID-19 contractors. This is almost three years running and nothing has been done”.
“You would recall that sometime last year 2021, we had a similar peaceful protest with the same demand which resulted in partial payment of our monies 80 percent.
“As it stands today, some of our contractors have not received a dime as payment since 2019, lots are owed 20% balance of the contract sum. The FCT Minister, Permanent Secretary as well as the Executive Secretary HHSS.
“We are demanding 100 percent payment of all the COVID-19 files without batching. FCT authority should pay up all monies within a week to the COVID-19 contractors so that we all can move on with our lives,” he added.