By Emmanuel Addeh
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has said that it will commence the payment of its verified contractors by Friday, after meeting with some of the representatives of the aggrieved businessmen.
A statement from the Public Affairs Unit of the organisation, signed by Mr Kenneth Chigelu in Abuja, noted that having just concluded a meeting with the contractors being owed, the management of the FHA will continue to ensure fairness and due diligence in its operations.
The Senator Gbenga Ashafa-led FHA explained that payments were delayed because of the organisation’s regard for due process in the auditing of the contractors.
“Since assumption of office, the new management, under the leadership of Senator Gbenga Ashafa, has made it a priority to adhere strictly to the ethics of public accountability in the payment of every contractor that has delivered on the agreed milestones, as it relates to the housing projects currently under construction.
“The delay in payments that resulted in the recent demonstration by contractors working on some of the authority’s projects was largely due to the extent of painstaking verification.
“This had to be carried out via rigorous auditing, on-site verification and physical inspection, quality control and compliance with global standards — all in a bid to ensure that the Nigerian people and prospective home owners get value for their money,” the FHA stated.
Why assuring every contractor, many of whom the FHA said it had enjoyed a long and healthy relationship with, the authority restated its commitment to “pay off every outstanding debt owed to those who have completed their projects and have met with all agreed Key Performance Indices (KPIs) by Friday, 19 March, 2021”.
The contractors had said that they had not been paid for the Abuja Mass Housing Project in Zuba totalling N1.5 billion, as well as the Apo housing project awarded in 2011 and completed since February 2020.
The Chairman of the association of FHA contractors, Mr Innocent Idika, who addressed journalists, said some of the contracts were executed and handed over in 2011 without payment.