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Oghoye Market Contractor Appeals To Gov Okowa For Payment



Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State

By Wilson Macaulay, WARRI
Mr. Philip Awani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Maybedik Nigeria Limited, has sent a compassionate appeal to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to direct the Commissioner of Works, the Commissioner for Finance, the Accountant General and other relevant agencies of government to pay his company the huge debt owed him by the Delta State government to enable him settle subcontractors who are almost sniffing life out of him due to paucity of fund.

Mr Philip Awani on behalf of the Management of Maybedik, staff and contractors told our correspondent that the multi-million naira Oghoye Ultra Modern Contrete Floating Market project was awarded and mobilised in the spring of 2007 towards the end of Chief James Ibori second tenure and Maybedik worked far above the value of what the state paid with the hope that there will be constant funding because of the strategic economic importance of the Oghoye Market in Warri North Local Government Area of the state.

The representative of the Subcontractor Workers who also spoke
on how they have suffered lack as a result of the failure on the part of government to pay Maybedik said : ” we are appealing to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to pay our principal to enable them also defray their debts to suppliers of construction materials.”

The contractors who besieged the residence of the principal contractor of the project, Mr. Philip Awani on Saturday to demand for their accumulated debt expressed sadness that the Delta State government have mobilized another contractor to the project site that was abandoned in 2013 due to failure/nonpayment by the then government to pay the original contractor, Maybedik Nigeria Limited, saying that “we may be compelled to mobilize to disrupt work on site.”

They said: “we have completed 65 percent of the platform when the government started defaulting in payment that frustrated further job on site and they had no option but to abandon site in 2013 with huge debt on their neck, adding: “we have lost construction materials, equipment and our office to vandalism to the tune of over two hundred million naira and we still have some of our equipment on site till date.

The confused old contractors and unpaid workers lamented that with the new contractor now on the same site at the Atlantic ocean, Oghoye community in Warri North Council Area of Delta State, they cannot be too sure of their fate.

However, representatives of the new contractor who spoke to our correspondent made a clarification statement, as he disclosed that Governor Okowa directed that they mobilize to site to complete the project because he wants it completed in record time.

The source disclosed further that frantic efforts are on top gear to settle Maybedik of all his outstanding debt by the state government and called for more patience from them, saying that he would soon be settled.

Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. H C Peter-Mrakpor whose office is in-charge of justice on such matters when contacted said “I am not in a position to give an appropriate answer” as to what plans are being made to payoff Maybedik.

But Mr. Philip Awani of Maybedik Nigeria Limited who was first arrested and detained at Alagbon by the police before being detained at the Ikoyi prison for two weeks by the EFCC due to non-payment to his bankers maintained that while representatives of the new contracting firm appears to be mediating between the state government and his company, it is unwise for them to mobilize to the site when his contract has not been terminated and outstanding debt running into almost a billion naira has not been settled.

According to Mr. Awani, “I still have to settle the bank and other sub-contractors/suppliers that are on my neck.”

“All the same, my lawyers wrote a reminder letter dated 2nd March, 2020 to the government through the office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, H.C. Peter-Mrakpor another letter in April and even in July in the hope that he would appropriately advise the government to do the needful or allow him to continue with the job under the NDDC to completion level”, he disclosed.

The Oghoye project director and former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, RT. Hon JFK Omatsone said he has advised that all outstanding debt be paid and due process followed in the matter to avoid problems.

Mr. Awani revealed that key stakeholders in Warri North have intervened in this matter to no avail till date.

“I have explored all relevant avenue to resolve this matter amicably to no avail and my Lawyers have given notice of intention to institute legal action against the Delta State Government arising from the actions/inactions in respect of the contract issue”, he stressed.

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