The contractors who mobilized their members to the bank as early as 8.00am on Thursday refused to leave the office of the managers as at the time of filing in this story at 3.00 pm yesterday expressing fear that their money totaling over two billion naira and paid into the bank by the State Universal Basic Education Board might have been diverted.
When news men visited the bank at about 12.00 pm, the contractors were seen giving marching order to the manager who appears unruffled while the free flow of customers in and outside the bank was stunted.
Speaking with news men at the promises of the bank, the chairman of the association of Indigenous Contractors, Mr Arome Odiba lamented that in the last three weeks the SUBEB had prepared payment schedule and sent to the bank for payment, but wondered why the manager was reluctant to pay.
He expressed displeasure over the manger’s claim that the bank had an internal arrangement which can not be disclosed to the contractors, saying they have collected loans to finance the projects.
According to him ” as contractors we collected loans from banks to execute the contracts, by this unnecessary delay the interest on the loans will be building up and this is not healthy to us as the contracts we have executed was over two billion naira”
When contacted, the SUBEB chairman Alhaji Nuhu Ahmed confirmed that the payment schedule had been delivered to the manager for prompt payment, saying he was surprised that contractors were still struggling to receive their money.
“All the contractors that have executed their jobs, we have sent their payment schedule to the bank for onward payment into their various accounts, but i am surprised to hear that they were not paid uptil now.”
“In the last two months I have not set my eyes on the manager, how can he claimed that I was involved in an internal arrangement with him. I can emphatically said without fear of contradiction that I am not part of any internal arrangement with the bank” he added
He however appealed to the bank to pay the contractors without further delay.
Responding , the bank manager Mr Aiyenigba who repeatedly said there was an internal arrangement between the bank and SUBEB, indicated that the contractors may not be able to get their money Soon.
The contractors have therefore appealed to the anti-graft agencies to investigate the bank manager and the SUBEB to possibly arrest the situation before it’s get out of hands.
Source: Ademu Idakwo