Members of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC Indigenous Contractors Forum, have cautioned that the activities of the Commission if not handled properly might lead to most Contractors losing their property and assets to banks and other money lenders and begged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State again to make haste in the outstanding payments to them.
In an appeal letter to the Governor, signed by its chairman, Francis Obule, Secretary, Toritseju Mabiaku, and eight others, the DESOPADEC indigenous contractors cried out to the Governor over debts to them.
The contractors expressed alarm that up till now, the 2016 budget was still with the House of Assembly, saying that this has in no small measure adversely affected the development of the oil producing areas and the payment of the DESOPADEC indigenous contractors who have been working in these communities.
According to them; “The shortfall in funding the 2015 budget has to a large extent been responsible for the inability of DESOPADEC to meet her financial obligation to her creditors, particularly the indigenous contractors. The 2016 budget that is still with the state House of Assembly has also not helped matters and we humbly urge the Governor to intervene and liaise affectively with the State House of Assembly to ensure the immediate release and execution/funding of the 2016 budget without any further delay.”
They added that; “Kindly note, your Excellency, that any further delay and/or failure in the passage and funding of the DESOPADEC budget may lead to adverse reactions from the oil producing communities and the Indigenous Contractors working in these communities which may not be palatable to your Excellency and the Government of Delta State”.
The contractors also appealed to the Governor to make a percentage of the bailout fund available to DESOPADEC to enable the commission clean up her debts to indigenous contractors and other creditors as well.
They implored the Governor to treat Deltans particularly the DESOPADEC Indigenous Contractors with fairly, describing themselves as law abiding citizens.
“We also caution that the activities of DESOPADEC if not handled properly might lead to most Contractors losing their property and assets to banks and other money lenders, a development which would not be palatable to all Stakeholders”, they wrote.
Reported by Dennis Otu, Warri