Unpaid Imo contractors protest in Owerri
SCORES of Imo state–based contractors yet to be paid long after completion of jobs awarded to them more than three years ago, under the aegis, Unpaid Imo Contractors (U – PIC), on Tuesday grounded economic and social activities in Owerri the state capital as they protested alleged non payment of over N180 billion owed them by the Rochas Okorocha administration.
The jobs ranged from road construction to supplies of road construction materials.
The contractors who marched through major streets of the state capital including Okigwe, Bank and Wetheral Roads were led by their chairman Rev. Udogadi Ononiwu, the Vice Chairman, Mr. Uche Henry Madu, the Public Relations Officer, Emenike Uzo, among others, The protest caused considerable gridlock in the city.
Inscriptions on their placards read: “Contractors have lost their properties. Rochas Pay us!” “Rochas our children are out of school. Pay contractors.”
”We are Imolites too. We contractors built Imo state with our money since 2011 because you told us to build.!” “You have verified the jobs we did over five times, always promising to pay, but to no avail!”.
“Governor Okorocha, stop treating Imo contractors like outcasts.!” “Over 19 of us have died and their families destitute. Some are sick to a point of death. Banks that we borrowed money from are on our necks and we have lost our properties to the banks.” “You have taken the glory for the jobs we did , yet you refuse to pay us.” “You claim in your publications and media briefings that you have paid all contractors. It is not true.!”
Speaking to journalists at the at the Imo state University Roundabout, Udogadi who said he was owed N58 million which was pruned to N45 million, said 19 of their members who died waiting for the payment died under pitiable circumstances.
He regretted that most of his colleagues were hospitalized of various ailments associated wit
The vice chairman, Uche Madu said he was owed N240 million for road contracts he executed, while Emenike Uzo said he was owed N252 million.
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