Dr Ako Obioma Asks Gov Otti To Look Into Debts Owed Contractors, Suppliers To Save Their Businesses

Abia State born business magnate and Chairman Daman Group, Dr Ako Obioma, has appealed to the Abia State Government led by Gov Alex Otti to look into the predicament of genuine contractors and suppliers, who are been owed for years in order to save them and their businesses from untimely death as being recorded now.

Dr Ako Obioma who is Abia’s foremost indigenous contractor, stated this in an Open Letter addressed to the Governor, against the backdrop of the efforts being put in place by Gov Otti to defray the backlog of salaries arrears and pensions owed civil servants, and asked the Gov to extend this gesture to other categories especially government contractors and suppliers.  

Sir Ako Obioma who holds the title of AkubaraOha in the letter titled “The Need To Be Fair To All As Every Worker Deserves His Wage”, pointed out that the wickedness of non-payment of workers’ salaries perpetrated by past administrations was equally applicable to genuine contractors and suppliers, hence the need to also use the same mechanism to offset the debts owed to local contractors and suppliers.

In the Open Letter Wednesday 13th June 2023, noted that while some of them who are owed billions of Naira on executed projects could still survive by the grace of God, others were not so lucky as they have since died due to frustration.

He further said that it’s so disheartening that these people who have died while trying to help build Abia State were deceived by the government to execute the jobs on trust without mobilization, only for them to be abandoned to the extent that many lost not only their investments but their lives equally.

Speaking further Sir Obioma said that as a financial expert, Gov Otti knows the cost of money and the implications when such monies were borrowed to execute such unpaid contracts even without mobilization based on trust.

He cited the case of Daman Group which he is the Chairman, CEO and how in November 2010 at the height of the dreaded Osisikankwu menace and insecurity in Abia, the state Govt approached the then President Goodluck Jonathan seeking the reopening of the over 35-years abandoned army barracks in Ohafia.

“To prove its commitment the gov promised to build the infrastructure (roads, parks, parade ground, Helipad etc) while the army reconstruct the buildings and build new ones.

“In the face of paucity of funds, Abia govt approached me for my company to execute these projects without mobilization, but with promise to pay before commissioning of the barracks. Having confidence in the government, we executed these projects and President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned the barracks in February 2011 with fanfare, while the Helipad at Isikwuato barracks with completed one-kilometre asphalted road was used during Gen Azubuike Ihejirika’s (retd) father’s burial.

He said “it’s pathetic that after 12-years of this project completion no dime has been paid to my company (WORLDWIDE Environ-Tech Ltd) till date, even as the arbitration court has given an award in favour of my companies. This is just one among the many verifiable projects that Abia State is owing my companies to the tune of over N4 billion (four billion Naira).

“May I refer you to Anambra in the days of His Excellency, Mr Peter Obi. On assumption of office, the first thing he did was to set up a system that verified genuine debts and ongoing projects, paid them off and ordered certified contractors to return to site. The climax was before he left office, he announced through media platforms for all contractors been owed to submit their interim/completed certificates with bank details. Honestly, he paid off everyone and still left huge sum of money in the government coffers for smooth take-off by his successor.

Again, “the second example is River State where I leave (Port Harcourt). On assumption of office, former Gov Nyesom Wike not minding the bitter rivalry between him and his predecessor Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi didn’t award any major contract until he has taking inventory and completed all ongoing projects initiated by Amaechi except the Mono rail project.

In concluding Ako Obioma said “my advice is borne out of the spirit of reconciling, reuniting and rebuilding Abia the God’s Own State and I need you to pardon my choice of making some of these letters open to public because previous administrations have pretended as if statemen like us have not been advising them privately, so it’s now pertinent to adhere to Igbo adage that says ‘the hen is not shouting only for what is holding her to leave her, but  also for the world to hear her voice’.

Pls I once more plead with your Excellency to judiciously look into this letter critically and do the needful. In doing this, you will be rekindling people’s confidence in not only your government but Abia in general.

Thank you and continue to remain blessed.

Yours Sincerely,

Sir Ako Obioma (AkubaraOha).


Daman Group.

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