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Furore over N3.8b Covid 19 contract in FCT

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Furore over N3b Covid 19 contract in FCT

***contractors protest non-payment of supplies at FCTA


By Danjuma James

Contractors that supplied food items and other consumable that were distributed as palliatives to cushion the effect of the Covid 19 pandemic are set for a show down with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) over non-payment for their respective contract supplies.

They said they are yet to get their payments for supplies they made to the FCTA for palliative distribution four months after.

Some of the contractors clashed with security personnel at the Federal Capital Territory on Friday as they sought to meet with the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory, Christian Ohaa, NationalUpdate learnt.

The brawl followed the insistence of the contractors to have audience with the permanent secretary for the payment of the supplies they have made to the tune of N3.8 billion under “emergency procurement” for which payment were supposed to have been made three weeks after the supply berween April and May.

However, four months down the line, the Mohammed Bello led Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has not met its “obligation to us” one of the contractor who sought anonymity said.

The clash on Friday saw the entire security architecture of the Federal capital territory rising up to the ocasion as they sent the contractors away from the premises of the FCTA.
They insisted on meeting with the permanent Secretary ahead of the Sallah break for their payments.
The security operatives however did not allow them saying,
“It is our job to secure this premises and maintain law and order, we only arrested the disturbance they created around the offices with due respect to their persons. Did they tell you any one was hurt?” A security source asked our correspondent.

Reacting to the development, Acting secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS) of the Federal Capital Territory, Dilichukwu Onyedima said she has nothing to say over the grumblings by contractors that supplied the administration food items during the Covid 19 lockdown.

NationalUpdate checks revealed that 48 contractors supplied 600,000 (six hundred thousand) of 50kg bags of rice to the FCTA for her intervention to some 700,000 homes as beneficiaries from the palliative pack.

Some contractors supplied 10kg bags of rice too to meet specification.

Asked about the deal and their role on the financing of the palliative, the office of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and disaster management said it has no business with such transactions as it was entirely the responsibility of the FCTA where it had such contractual agreement for food supply

Special adviser on Media, Madam Halima Oyelade indicated that: “We have no business with any supply of palliative with contractors at the FCT nor did we get any cash donation to make payment for palliative, there is no such thing.”

A source within the federal capital territory said: “Yes, contracts have actually been awarded and payment yet to be made. However, I can assure the contractors, that due diligence on their supplies have been done, from store verification to audit.

“All the things that are needed to be done to make payment processes complete have been done; all that is left now is to go for payment.

“We are aware that some of the suppliers were dragged to the EFFCC for alleged fraud but the EFCC wrote the administration as part of their investigation and the administration replied, on the strength of which the contractors were released.

“Like I said they will be paid soon”, the source said

One of the contractors investigated by the EFCC said his supplier, had thought he was duped of his goods, fearing that he would lose his money running into hundreds of millions so, he sought the intervention of the anti-graft agency.

However, the Anti-graft agency he said released him after getting to  know that he was not a fraudulent person but that the laxity in payment was due to the delay in the bureaucracy in the processes of the FCT for payment.

“This job was done under emergency procurement which requires that supplies can be made and all processes for due diligence were done for payment within three weeks.

“We made our supply in April and May, we were told payment would be made within two weeks of supply while supply of the goods bided for would be made in one week,” another contractor who would not want his name in prints for fear of being victimized said.

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2020 IDPWDs: Humanitarian Ministry also donates items to vulnerable In the Church

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2020 IDPWDs: Humanitarian Ministry also donates items to vulnerable in the Church

The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has donated items to the vulnerable in the church to mark the 2020 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWDS).
This was coming just as similar gesture was to the vulnerables in the Mosque earlier to mark the same celebration by the ministry.
The items were presented to the Church by the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, at the St Mathew Anglican Church, Gwarimpa Abuja.
The Minister through her Representative, Director Special Needs of the Ministry, Mrs. Onwukwue Nkechi Florence said IDPWDs is marked December 3rd every year and the Federal Government, stakeholders and the church are doing so much to remember Persons with Disabilities.
Continuing, the Minister said the church service was organised to pray for the vulnerable in the society and the Ministry and it’s Agencies for God’s grace to achieve the mandate of the Ministry.
The items include: 5 bags of 50kg of rice, 5 cartons of peak milk, clothes and 20 pieces of wrappers.
Earlier, the Vicar of Saint Mathew Anglican Church, Ven. Andrus Ukaejiofo, appreciated the Ministry for the items given to the vulnerable in the Church. He offered prayers for the vulnerable as well as the Management and staff of the Ministry.
The IDPWDs is an annual global event marked every December 3rd, to promote the rights and well-being of the Persons with Disabilities.
To commemorate the 2020 IDPWDs, the activities earmarked to celebrate the Day include Jumat Prayers and Sunday Service, Press Briefing by the Honourable Minister and the Grand Finale.
 
 

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#ENDSARS: Association appeals to FG, states to compensate affected traders

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#ENDSARS: Association appeals to FG, states to compensate affected traders

By Mustapha Sumaila

The Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) has appealed to Federal and State Governments to compensate traders whose businesses were affected during the EndSARS protest across the country.

The newly elected president of the association, Alhaji Jamilu Abbas made the appeal at the inauguration ceremony of the new executive in Abuja on Sunday.

Abbas said it was a tough time for his members over the unfortunate incident of EndSARS protest that was hijacked by hoodlums which caused destruction of properties of many traders.

He noted that paying them adequate compensation for the loss would help their businesses bounce back and in turn boost the economy of the country.

“I will like to reflect on the unfortunate incident which led to the loss of lives and properties of our members especially those in the southern part of the country.

“It is sad and so unfortunate for this kind of barbaric act to happen in this country for whatever reason. We do hope both Federal and State Governments will pay adequate compensation to the affected individuals.

“We also need to commend the effort of the Northern leaders and youth for their peaceful disposition as their conduct prevented reprisal attack in the region” he said.

Abbas commended the effort of President Muhammadu Buhar’s led administration for initiating various social economic intervention programmes.

He however decried that only few of his members could benefit and then appealed to Federal Government to provide more intervention for his members.

The president reiterated his commitment and determination to work with government agencies concern to ensure that more of his members benefit from intervention programmes.

He pledged to run an open door policy and work to justify the confidence reposed on him by members of the association across the country.

Abbas said in ensuring to make the association a data based, MATAN had commenced biometric registration of all its members.

The new executive officers inaugurated were, Alhaji Muhammad-Sani Kari as Deputy President North while Mrs Ebele Okafor would serve as Deputy President South and Mr Olakunle Johnson as National Secretary.

Others are Muhammad Labaran Abdulrahman as National Tresurer, Dr Sadiq Umar Awwal National Publicity Secretary  and  Alhaji Abubakar Sokoto was also inaugurated as Assistant National Secretary among others. NAN

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APC Chieftain, Gololo knocks NULGE for presenting award to Gov. Ortom

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APC Chieftain, Gololo knocks NULGE for presenting award to Gov. Ortom

Says Benue Gov still owing 24 months salaries

The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has come under great criticism, for presenting award to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.

Ortom was on Monday, presented with a ‘NULGE Life Patron Award’ by the NULGE national president, Ahmed Lobbo, in Makurdi.

NULGE said the governor was being honoured in recognition of his support and “inestimable contribution to the emancipation of the local government system” in Nigeria.

But a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Dr. Garus Gololo, while reacting on Friday, berated NULGE for giving such an award, saying, it was an insult on “the general sensibility and collective intelligence” of Benue local government workers, whom he said were being owed cumulative arrears running to 24 months.

Gololo said, there are Governors in the country who deserved even more than that, stressing that, such a lifetime award on Ortom was to reward mediocrity and inefficiency.

“Ortom has not done anything to deserve any award. Has he commissioned any culvert since he became Governor? Not even a public toilet was commissioned to his credit. The road from Daudu to his (Ortom’s) country home in Gbajimba is like traveling to Afghanistan.

“NULGE saw Gov. Zulum in Borno, El-Rufai in Kaduna, Ganduje in Kano, Umahi in Ebonyi, even Wike in Rivers and Makinde that just came onboard in Oyo; it was only Ortom who has no single project to his name, except non payment of salaries and pensions, that deserved such an important award.

“I was born and bred in Benue and since all my life, I have never seen such a Governor that doesn’t put the welfare of his people into consideration. I will not be surprised if by tomorrow, I see on newspapers that Association of Pensioners too are making him their life patron, in recognition of his non payment of pensions”, Gololo mocked.

He said, such awards could be procured at the expense of the helpless workers who go to bed with empty stomachs, while their leaders smile to the market for Christmas shopping.

The APC Chieftain also described as “misplaced priority”, the ongoing Benue Youth Summit being organized by Ortom in Makurdi.

He said despite huge amount of money budgeted for the summit, it would not yield any meaningful result, aside being a conduit pipe to syphon more Benue money.

Gololo said, “the main youth stakeholders were sidelined and Ortom only organized a jamboree rally for his party boys. Have you seen a summit held under such atmosphere before? Who is paying all the musicians and artistes flown from Lagos and across the country? What are their roles in the summit? Ortom should rather call it a music concert”.

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