& Akpokona Omafuaire.
13 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, WARRI– DELTA State Commissioner for Special Duties in charge of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Mr. Tonye Timi, Monday, warded off a strike action against the oil commission by angry contractors.
The irate contractors had concluded arrangement to lay siege to DESOPADEC on Tuesday, but the Mr. Timi, who acted proactively, invited them to a meeting at Government House, Annexe, Warri, where for over three, hours, he sat with them listening to their litany of complaints and woes over projects they executed for the commission.
He pacified the contractors and assured them that the state government would pay their outstanding debts, but called for patience and understanding on their part.
In the words of the commissioner who spoke to newsmen at the end of an over three-hour meeting with the contractors, “The labourer is worthy of his wage, when there is issue, there is always a way of addressing it. The governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan is a kind hearted person and passionate about people’s welfare, he has called this meeting for us to resolve any issue, he is a peace lover.
“We have discussed for over three hours now, they complained of delayed contract payment, called for proper budgeting system, multiple verification process and underhand system. We have listened to them; we will pass it on to higher authorities.
“I pleaded that they should give us time to tackle these issues, if people execute their project, they should be paid accordingly, let us all work together to build this state. The governor knows your pains and he will take action, I shall meet with the board of DESOPADEC tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the way forward, I thank you for your time”, he asserted.
One of the angry contractors , Comrade Isaiah Igho, “We want all the anomalies in DESOPADEC to be corrected, if they cannot employ people and cannot pay contractors, then what purpose they are serving?
“Some people are being owed since 2008, loan interest has erased any profit that would have accrued, yet they are not paying, what have they done with the over N100 billion that has come to them?”