Contractors working with the Federal Housing Authority on Tuesday protested in Abuja to demand the payment of N1.5 billion which was approved for the Abuja Mass Housing Project in the Zuba area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The contractors lamented that while the money had been approved and released since December 2020, the money had been stuck at the office of Executive Director, Business Development, of the FHA.
They noted that despite having received their payment certificates for the project, no funds were given to them for the project.
Speaking for the protesters, the Chairman of the FHA contractors, Innocent Odika, said the same delay was experienced in the Apo Housing Project which was awarded in 2011 and completed only in February 2020.
He noted that some of the contractors had also yet to get their money for the projects.
Odika said, “Our reasons for protest are: one, delay in payment. The total completion payment for Abuja Mass Housing Project, Zuba, was released last year by the Federal Government in the total sum of N1.5 billion but the money has been with the management.
“Many contractors that have had payment certificates since last year December have not been paid. Their files have been stocked at the office of Executive Director Business Development since December 2020.
“Also in Apo Housing Project, which was awarded in 2011 and was completed since last year February, the houses have been purchased and allotted. But till now, a large chunk of the money has not been paid to us.
“There is also the Value Added Tax; we suffer from illegal deduction of 7.5% VAT as against 5% VAT that was clearly stated in our terms and our letter of award of 2011 for Apo Project and 2018 of Zuba Mass Housing Project.”
The contractors lamented that several meetings and appeals had gone to the FHA management in respective of their demands without result which necessitated the protest.
“If nothing happens from the management, we will continue to occupy their office. We will continue the protest tomorrow (Wednesday). We are not leaving this place,” Odika warned.