Some contractors with Ekiti State government have appealed to Governor Kayode Fayemi to pay their outstanding contract sums to enable them to repay their debts with banks and survive the hardship occasioned by the raging coronavirus disease.
The contractors, numbering about 10, who pleaded anonymity for the fear of incurring the wrath of the government, noted that the government had made efforts to pay them but that it had overdrawn its account in the bank where their claims were submitted. This, they said, had made the bank not to honour the state’s instruction to pay them.
One of the contractors, who executed a contract for the State Universal Basic Education, told our correspondent that the state’s refusal to pay them despite executing the contract successfully had made life difficult for them, their employees and family members, especially in the face of the COVID-19. They added that the interest on the loans they took from banks had continued to rise.
The contractor said,
“I did some work for SUBEB in the state and we understand that the names of those of us to be paid had been given to a bank in the state since March 16.
But we understand that the state government had also overdrawn the account by about N900m, which made the bank to decline honouring the payment instruction.
“While we are thankful for government’s patronage, we are also dying in silence, which has made us to resort to this. We are never in doubt of the Fayemi administration’s dedication to excellence and good relationship with all. Thus, we decided to appeal to Your Excellency to use your good offices to look into our plight and ensure that we are paid.”
Another contractor told our correspondent that life was gradually becoming unbearable for him and his staff due to the pending payment.
“We therefore plead with the conscientious governor to intervene so we can be paid without further delay.”
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayoola Owolabi, told Sunday PUNCH he was in a virtual meeting. Subsequent calls to his phone were, however, not answered till the time of filing this report.