COVID-19 Rice Supply:  Contractors Decry Non Payment By Zamfara Govt

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*say banks interest on loans for purpose tripled

*beg Governor Matawalle to order payment

*threaten legal action 

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

Worried by the long duration payment for services rendered in 2020 at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, contractors who supplied grains to Zamfara State civil servants have cried out to His Excellency, Bello Muhammad Matawalle to urgently intervene and ensure their payment is made.

This was contained in an open letter from a company, SOA ALKAWARI NIG LTD, signed on their behalf by Mr Segun Samuel, sighted by our correspondent in Kaduna on Thursday December 1,  2022.

“We, SOA ALKAWARI NIG LTD, having exhausted all usual channels without getting a positive result, hereby publicly plead with the Zamfafa State Governor, His Excellency Bello Muhammad

Matawalle, to kindly order both the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Local Government and

Community Development, to immediately release our long overdue rice subsidy payment from the executed State Government’s Civil Servants Welfare Scheme.

“Under the approval of your Excellency, in June 2020, we were awarded a contract by the Directorate of Labour Matters and Irrevocable Payment Guarantees

by the State’s Head of Civil Service, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

“The payment terms of the referenced contract provide

that Zamfara State Government will pay N5,000 per bag on behalf of all benefitting civil servants, while

the beneficiaries will pay N14,000 per bag via salary deduction,” the letter said.

According to the letter, “Trusting  on the integrity of your Government, Sir, we had taken a 120 days loan from Capitalfield Financial Management Limited to enable us execute the said rice supply. 

“Furthermore, we decided to support your new administration in executing this Staff Welfare Scheme while risking our own lives by defying the then raging COVID 19 and the rampancy of banditry in and around Zamfara State,” the letter pointed out.

It added that it is almost three years  after the completion of the said supply during which time, they  have waited painfully,  lobbied extensively and pushed extra hard for the payment of the promised subsidy without getting it.

“Note, Sir, that the refusal of Zamfara State Government to pay per the term of the said contract

has totally crashed the business of our small company while our loan balance with the lenders has grown

more than three times the amount of the original loan we actually took as a result of the accumulated monthly interest and daily default penalty. 

“Sadly, our lenders are now in the process of foreclosure on the collateral pledged for the loan while our company promoters currently live under untold pressure and debilitating stress,” the letter disclosed.

They therefore,  appealed to His Excellency to order both the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to immediately release these overdue subsidy payments as they hope  kind action will help in avoiding

unnecessary litigation over the unfortunate delay cum refusal to fulfill the government’s contractual obligation to company.

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