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Nigerian govt to clear N1.5tr owed contractors for road projects



The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, said on Thursday the Federal Government was ready to pay the N1.5 trillion owed to contractors for the construction of federal highways across the country.

The minister, who stated this at a meeting with the contractors in Abuja, said the government had set up a verification committee to screen contractors’ certificates and recommend payments.

He, however, advised them to be serious in the execution of government projects.

Umahi said: “I want to assure you that every verification made will be paid. We are going to have an automated payment system.

“You are requested to come up with proof of how these debts are generated.

“The earlier you do it the better, the economic team and Federal Executive Council will expect us to give them facts. I assure you that every verification that has merit will be paid but it shall be on a first come, first served basis.

READ ALSO: Repair works on all federal roads to begin in December —Umahi

He also faulted the contractors’ decision to close up sites during the festive season when the traffic on the roads was high.

The minister added: “We are almost in the middle of January, most of you closed sites on December 15, to reopen on January 15, losing a most valuable one month that would not be allowed to happen again.

“That is not good, we have to agree, if you have to take off, you can take one week but closing the site at the critical time of the season to observe festivities will not be allowed anymore.

“Going forward, we are going to track our projects. On our part we are addressing late payments; we mean business in 2024 and we want to work with serious contractors.

“Contractors of Lokoja-Benin Road should please return to the site or their contracts will be terminated.”

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