Some aggrieved contractors in Imo State on Tuesday July 14, 2020, stormed Imo Government House, Owerri, to demand payment for contracts which they executed for the State Universal Education Board (IMSUBEB), but which indebtedness has lingered.
The contractors numbering over 100, defied an early morning downpour and marched to Imo Government House, where they sang solidarity songs.
They carried placards with inscriptions; “IMSUBEB save our souls and pay us”, “Imo government save our properties from our creditors” “Hope, interests on loans are piling, save our souls”, “UBEC in Abuja has sent the money, please pay us”, among others.
Speaking to newsmen during the protest march, Chairman of the Registered IMSUBEB Contractors, Williams Ejiakor, who led the protest, said some of their property had been taken over by their creditors due to their inability to refund their loans.
Mr Ejiakor claimed that they were aware that the federal government through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Abuja had released the money to the state government in order to offset the bills. He added that, the protest was meant to draw the attention of the state government to their plight and awaken it to live up to it’s fiscal and moral obligations to service providers.
“Jobs for the 2016/2017 Revised Action Plan were awarded to us during the Emeka Ihedioha era. We went into the field immediately even without demanding mobilization fees and most of us had even delivered our projects. Ihedioha was at the verge of paying us when he was unfortunately removed by the court”.
“Our money has since then been domiciled at the bank. We want Governor Hope Uzodinma to help us”, said Mr Williams Ejiako.
Mr Ejiakor stated further that they had gone through Fr. Mbaka, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, and Hope Uzodinma’s Chief of Staff, to reach the Governor, but all to no avail.
According to reports, the contractors later dispersed when no official of the government deemed it necessary to attend to them.