House of Assembly has summoned Access Bank Managing Director Herbert Wigwe to explain why the bank did not pay or delayed paying contractors handling State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) projects.
Daniel Ogazi, chairman of the House Committee on Education, stated this when the SUBEB management appeared for its 2021 budget assessment in Lafia on Thursday.
He added that Access Bank’s action had also put Nasarawa in a bad light “before the world.”
“They do not know that the fault is from the bank who have decided on the reasons best known to them to keep our money. And be making high profits from it to the detriment of the government and the people of the state,” said Mr. Ogazi. “It is on this note that we are inviting the MD/CEO of Access Bank to appear before the House on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, to explain to us in detail what is happening with the state’s money in their custody.”
Mr. Ogazi, the Deputy Majority Leader of the house, said the legislature was worried about the myriad of petitions it received from contractors handling SUBEB projects in the state over the non-payment.
“After many of them had completed their works, with others having theirs reaching various stages of completion, many of the contractors collected loans,” stated the legislator. “Some collected personal loans from individuals where they are to pay back 20 percent interest monthly, aside from the increase in the costs of construction materials in the market on a daily basis.”
The Nasarawa legislator wondered why Access Bank did not pay the contractors as he pointed out that the government had lodged its counterpart funds in the bank.
“Why are they keeping it? They are unnecessarily subjecting the state and contractors to hardship, leaving our school structures in bad shape, and now the rain is destroying them,” Mr. Ogazi noted. “I want to call on the contractors to be patient. The house will protect their interests, and their money is guaranteed.”