Construction Worker Commits Suicide Over Akwa Ibom Govt’s Claimed Inability To Pay Debt

Construction Worker Commits Suicide Over Akwa Ibom Govt’s Claimed Inability To Pay Debt

One Idorenyin Atang, a construction worker with QUMECS Nigeria Limited, Original contractors of the Ring road 2 project, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has reportedly committed suicide over the State Government’s indebtedness to the company. DAILY POST reports.

Late Atang, an indigene of Eket Local Government Area killed himself out of frustration, having been pressured from his creditors whom he collected loans from, to execute part of his job with the company. Information Guide Nigeria

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The State government had last year revoked the contract with Qumecs and awarded same to an indigenous construction firm, Hensek Integrated company limited, leaving an outstanding balance of about N572m due to be paid to the first construction firm (QUMECS).

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According to DAILY POST, the construction workers, who took to the streets over the weekend, cried that before the contract was revoked, some of them had collected loan facilities, sold cars and other personal belongings to execute the various jobs with the company.

They displayed placards with various inscriptions such as, “Mr Governor, we are dying because QUMECS is owing us’, ‘Governor Emmanuel please pay us ring road 11’, ‘Mr Emmanuel no respect for due process ring road 11’.

In an interview with one of the sub-contractors, Isaac Ibanga representing Sikak firm Nigeria Ltd, he said the company owes him a sum of N18million, which according to him, was a loan from bank to execute the project. jamb results

“We did the drainage placement to quite a far distance, to my surprise, payment ceased since 2019. Later, we heard that the mother company’s contract was revoked and we expected that the severance packages should be paid, we are not interested in who carries on the project”.

“We have toed the path of peace since the time, we have appealed and wrote various letters to QUMECS, but we got to understand that the State government has not paid them. We wrote to the State government, copied the Governor and other relevant parastatals but they will tell you that they don’t have any business with subcontractors, they gave the job to QUMECS”.

”Under due process, when a job is revoked, necessary checks are made to know if there are any outstanding and such should be defrayed to the contractor, but such was not done in this case.”

Also, one Samuel Peter, who was a supplier of stone-base, said the company owes him N18 million, lamenting that he sold land to execute the supply contract but has been unable to recover his money since then.

When contacted, the project manager, OUMECS Nigeria Limited, Engr Stephen Oluyemi insisted that the State government has not paid the company the outstanding balance of N572 million, which will enable them pay the suppliers and sub-contractors.

According to him, ”The truth is that we owe the indigenes, sub-contractors, and suppliers huge amount of money. They have been writing to us but the issue is that we have not been paid the money”.

“The work since three years ago was about 70% completion untill COVID-19 came and the government did not pay and since then we’ve been expecting payment. On February 2021, what rather came was letter of termination and they awarded the contract to another company, since then we’ve not received our outstanding”.

“We have pleaded with them to excercise patience, our equipments are still on site and as soon as government pays us, we will clear the debt we owe these indigenes.”

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Essien, Goodnews is a gruaduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo; Currently working at Infoguide Media as a news writer.

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