Over 200 contractors of the Federal Housing Authority on Tuesday staged a protest at the headquarters of the FHA in Abuja to demand the payment of N1.5bn owed them by the authority.
According to the protesters, the N1.5bn was part of the contract sum that was deployed for the construction of the Abuja Mass Housing Project.
Speaking under the aegis of Federal Housing Authority Contractors Association, the chairman of the group, Innocent Idika, said the projects had been completed but payments for the contracts had been delayed.
He named some of the completed contracts to include the Abuja Mass Housing Project in Zuba, totaling N1.5bn, and the Apo housing project that was awarded in 2011 and completed since February 2020.
The aggrieved protesters, who called for the resignation of the FHA boss, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, also complained of illegal deductions of 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax.
This, they said, was against the five per cent VAT as stated in their various letters of awards of 2011 for Apo and 2018 for Zuba mass housing projects.
Idika said, “The total completion payment for Abuja Mass Housing Project, Zuba was released last year by the Federal Government in the total sum of N1.5bn but the money has been with the management.”
The spokesperson for FHA, Kenneth Chigelu, said the authority had resolved to pay all contractors who had completed their jobs.
He said, “The management of FHA just rose from a meeting with our contractors, with a resolution that all contractors who have completed their jobs would receive their payments latest by Friday, 19th March, 2021.
“Management did not deliberately withhold the payment of our contractors, with whom the authority has a long standing good business relationship.”
He added that the ‘little delay in payment’ was as a result of management’s stance on due diligence before payments were made.
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