N500b FG’s Debt Sinks Construction Industry | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Business, Property & Environment

N500b FG’s Debt Sinks Construction Industry

Posted: May 26, 2015 at 12:18 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• Operators Seek State Of Emergency In Construction Sector

By Nkasiobi Oluikpe / Lagos


Indications have emerged that most of the construction firms in the country will soon close shops and throw lots of their employees into the labour market due to the inability of the Federal Government to pay over N500 billion debts owed the construction companies.

The president of Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), Mr. Solomon Ogunbusola, who disclosed this to journalists on Thursday in Lagos, remarked that the nation’s construction sub-sector is in comatose because the Federal Government and some state governments have failed to pay the firms for projects they had completed.

He said: “The Federal Ministry of Works alone is owing our members N500 billion. One particular company is being owed over N70 billion. The records are there. We are now retrenching our workers. Up till last week we are still retrenching our staff. The process will continue till we get to a stable place. We are merely opening the offices, because we want to remain in office hoping that the incoming administration will be a better one for us. We cannot keep quiet or hide any longer.

“All construction companies in Nigeria are being owed huge sums of money amounting to over N500 billion. We all are being owed, the one that is not interesting to me at all is the threats from the Central Bank telling the commercial banks to publish the names of our members who took loans from the banks for projects that they had long completed but not paid, as chronic debtors.”

Ogunbusola stressed that the name of the Federal Ministry of Works, FCT Area Council and other government corporations owing its members should be published alongside as chronic debtors because if they had paid his members, his members in return would have paid the banks.

The chairman of S and M Nigeria Limited lamented that the construction companies in the country are working less down 30 percent capacity because they have been handicapped for lack of payment for claims. “The claims we have are the federal, states and local governments. Like I said, our members are now indebted to the banks who are now writing and threatening to publish their names as chronic debtors. This is for works they have done for over three years without payments for it.