By ODEYA OGBETUO
The executive and members of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission [DESOPADEC] Indigenous Contractors Forum have expressed disappointment over delay in payment by the new DESOPADEC Board and have failed to look into the plight of Indigenous Contractors.
Rising from an emergency meeting in Warri, Delta State, the Contractors resolved to embark on a mass protest should the Board fail to accelerate payment of Contractors within two weeks.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting, the chairman of the DESOPADEC Indigenous Contractors Forum, Engr. Samson Ogie said that the new DESOPADEC Board has not responded positively to the payment request made by the Contractors and despite the subtle approach to the Board to make payment to Contractors to avoid conflict or protest, but all to no avail.
Engr. Ogie further said that he had made several attempts to reach the Managing Director of DESOPADEC Hon. Festus Ochornogho and the Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Chief Kome Okpobor on how payment could be carried out to avoid conflict between Indigenous Contractors and the 2023 DESOPADEC Board, but all efforts to harmonize the system were not successful because the Board was adamant.
The Forum chairman reiterated that lack of payment of outstanding money and maltreatment of Indigenous Contractors have be very worrisome, adding that they have been very patient with the Board and they are expecting the Board to respond to payment before the end of September 2023 and draw the attention of Governor, His Excellency Oborevwori to the plight of Contractors and to do his best to avoid mass protest that may likely take place shortly at the expiration of the ultimatum.
A member of the Forum, Mr. Felix Akpoyibo called on the Forum to immediately embark on protest to draw attention to the plight of the Indigenous Contractors, but the chairman pacified members to wait until the end of September 2023.
The secretary of the Indigenous Contractors Forum, Prince Charles Ebigbagha said that the decision of the exco should not be taken for granted in order to avoid protest by the aggrieved Indigenous Contractors, adding that if the Board fails to honour the Contractors request they may embark on mass protest.
He noted that the Board promised to pay monthly but they failed to fulfill their promise, stressing that the Board was unable to pay the Contractors thereby creating this present imbroglio.