Some indigenous contractors in Gombe State have asked Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo to pay debts owed them for various jobs executed in the state, saying it had become simply unacceptable to owe them for several years while being up to date in paying select foreign contractors.
The indigenous contractors, some of whom are being owed for upward of four years, say while most of them have already folded as a result of non-payment of debts owed them by the Gombe State governor, it had become necessary for the Federal government and indeed traditional institutions in the state to call on the governor to pay as Gombe State at large was bearing the brunt of non-payment of these debts.
Accusing Governor Dankwambo of non-interest in indigenous contractors while having deep interest in foreign firms and hence his preference to always pay foreign firms while starving local contractors of their due payments, the contractors reminded the governor of the sacrifices they have made in building the state even as several of them have folded as result of non servicing of bank loans borrowed to finance projects in the state .
An architect attached to one of the firms, Arch. Sumaila Indi Gamzhi, who spoke on the debts owed the contractors, called on the Federal Government to intercede as the situation had gotten out of hand as they formed a chunk of Nigeria’s local investors.
Gamzhi said against the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s ease of doing business and the quest to develop the country, states governors such as Dankwambo’s non encouragement and payment of local contractors was a huge step backwards in achieving such set goals.
“While we are made to beg cap in hand for debts and money owed us for the different projects executed painstakingly in the state, some foreign contractors like one in the state which is into mainly road construction is constantly on a monthly basis being paid.
“The logic of which is what we are yet to come to terms with. This is not only unfair but clearly defies the spirit of sacrifices which we have put in to make Gombe State a beautiful and peaceful State,” Arch. Gamzhi stated.
The contractors while calling for fairness and responsibility on the part of the governor said it was left to be imagined how dependents and families attached to the local contractors have been fairing under this plight , noting that since some have been owed for almost four years and beyond, unemployment in the state has skyrocketed , just as is poverty levels.
“We have executed jobs in good faith . We do not need to remind the governor of his duty and responsibility. It behoves on him to pay us our due debts owed us.
“We have made Gombe State what it is and he cannot deny this. It is only fair that just the way for whatever reason he pays the foreign companies, he should also dutifully pay us. It is as simple as that” , Arch Gamzhi added.
Governor Dankwambo is expected to declare interest in contesting for the 2019 presidential elections soon.