A’ Ibom waste mgt Agency in trouble over N1.69m debt.
By Isaac Job
A debt burden of N1, 696, 000 owed to a contractor Umoh -Umoh Motors by Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency (ASKEPWMA) has pitched the vendor and the government agency at loggerheads as the vendor refused to leave the government premises on Wednesday insisting that the debt must be settled after five years contractual engagement.
Speaking to our Correspondent in Uyo on Wednesday, the Managing Director of Umoh -Umoh Motors Elder Cyril Umoh said the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency ( AKSEPWMA) Prince Akpan Ikim approached his company and requested to apply for leasing of Hilux ( Toyota) with registration number AGL 174 FK for a period of 6 months at the rate of N12,000 per day.
Umoh said the company wrote an application letter as demanded by the Agency and was replied through an offer dated 4th October 2018 and his company released the vehicle to waste management agency to work for six months.
The letter reads in parts: ” The Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency (AKSEPWMA) in receipt of your letter dated 3rd October 2018 above refers. The lease will last for 6 months with effect from 3rd October 2018 to 3rd April 2019.
“You are by this letter directed to make available the above-mentioned vehicle and its particulars available to the Transport Officer of the Agency
” Your offer of N12,000 naira only as daily cost of hire is accepted.”
Narrating his ordeal, Umoh explained that the waste management agency paid his company the sum of five hundred thousand (N500,000) on 10th June 2019 as part payment of two million, one hundred and ninety-six thousand ( N2,196,000) only leaving a balance of N1,696,000 to liquidate the financial obligations of the waste agency.
Umoh said after waiting in vain for five years he wrote a letter to the office Secretary to the State Government ( SSG) Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem to complain attitude of the chairman of the state Environmental and waste management Agency and pleaded for his intervention.
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He said when the secretary to SSG saw the letter, she quickly called the chairman of the Agency Prince Akpan Ikim and he pleaded to pay the money immediately.
” Since then, Ikim refused to pay the money to my company. We have suffered as a result of this debt. we are owing salaries and are indebted to other people doing business with us.
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” I am here to collect my money, if Ikim does not pay me today, I would sleep here I can’t go back,” he said
when contacted, the chairman of the waste management agency Prince Akpan Ikim confirmed the contract documents but insisted that the vendor will be paid immediately.
” Yes, we hired Hilux from the contractor who comes from the community where we operate but as I speak now, we don’t have money to pay him As soon as the governor gives money to the agency we would pay ” he said.
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