15 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, WARRI- CONTRACTORS to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Warri, Delta State, Wednesday, gave the commission a four-day ultimatum to pay up all outstanding job certificates or they would shut down oil installations in the state.
The Commissioner in charge of DESOPADEC, Mr. Timi Tonye had in a meeting with the contractors, few days ago, urged restraint, adding that government would pay outstanding debts, but the contractors, apparently unsatisfied, issued an ultimatum, yesterday.
In a statement, jointly signed by the chairman of DESOPADEC contractors forum, High Chief James Tangbowei, secretary, Mr. Fidelis E. Orugboh and three others, they said, “We, the contractors to the DESOPADEC, this 14th day of September, give a four- day (4) ultimatum to the commission to pay up all outstanding job certificates currently with the commission”.
“Since we are all aware that more than N111 billion has been released to the state by his Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, from January 2011 to July 2011 as 13 per cent derivation fund. By this, DESOPADEC, b y law, should indisputably bag at least N 50 billion (50 per cent) out of the money.
“But yet for the past four years (2007 – 2011), the commission has refused to pay their contractors, thereby causing pains and agony to the contractors. Meanwhile, banks, creditors and other money lending bodies and individuals are on our neck. Most of our contractors have lost their properties to creditors and the governor is very much comfortable with that. It’s absurd”, they stated.
“Furthermore, we solemnly want the following grievances addressed within the four days otherwise, at the expiration of this ultimatum, we shall have no other option than to shut down all oil installations in Delta State with immediate effect. Within the four days, we want all contracts with valid certificates paid in full.
“All jobs with valid certificate but without budgetary provision i.e (10e) should be paid for in full pending remedy vis-a-vis supplementary budget. The issue of indiscriminate verifications of projects and undue tampering with DESOPADEC budget by the members of the state House of Assembly should be addressed immediately or stopped forthwith”, the contractors asserted.