Contractors handling power projects cannot complete abandoned works because they expect government to defray outstanding debts owed them.
The Publicity Secretary, Association of Rural Electrification Contractors of Nigeria (ARECON) Ostia Nwaneri stated this to our correspondent on phone yesterday.
According to him: “The major issue why we cannot complete ongoing projects is because the ones we have done have not been paid for.
“But as an association of contractors, we guarantee that if they pay our contractors we can now plead with them to go back to sites and complete projects and submit invoice for payment.
He added: “But government is telling them to go back to sites and complete projects when the ones they did have not been paid for.
“Meanwhile, they already owe traders so how can you ask them to go and accumulate more debts?”
Nwaneri said one of the contractors in the sector committed suicide a few weeks ago due to government’s failure to pay him.
According to him, the contractors that implemented the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) projects are now indebted to traders.
Banks, he said, are threatening to seize their collaterals.
Nwaneri lamented that though Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has given approval for the ministry to pay the debts, the Permanent Secretary Dr. Louis Edozien is delaying.
This, he said, is despite the fact that contractors have furnished him with all the documents relevant to the project implementation.
In his words: “We have submitted all relevant documents to the REA. They have gone to the site and done all the inspection attached photographs.
“All the zonal offices have all submitted validation certificates for all the contracts.
“They are aware that it is money that is delaying the ongoing ones from continuing.”