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ROAD CONSTRUCTION DEAL: CONTRACTORS DEMANDS N4.5M FROM DELTA STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT

A construction company, Custanleys Limited, has demanded N4,555,160 from Aniocha South Local Government in Delta State being balance for the construction of an 8.7km Ejeme-Aniogor-Obidugbo road in Aniocha.
The firm, through its lawyer Osazuwa Omonuwa, said the council has refused to pay the balance despite several reminders, a situation that has placed it in financial difficulties.
The lawyer said Custanleys signed an agreement with the council on April 28, 2010.
Because of the huge capital and technical capacity required for the construction, it engaged another firm, Doxa Engineering Company Limited, as the project's major financier.
The contractor said the first phase of the job was completed on September 29, 2010, which the council valued at N10.6million, following which it paid N4million in two separate instalments of N2m each, leaving a balance of N4.5million.

The lawyer said the non-payment of the balance has exposed his clients (Custanleys and Doxa) to unnecessary indebtedness as most of the money used in executing the project was sourced from the money market with its attendant huge interests.
“We have the firm instruction of our clients to demand the immediate payment of the sum of N4,555,160,” the lawyer wrote, threatening to take legal action if the money is not paid, including seeking damages.
The contractor said the first installment was paid only after its lawyer wrote the council on May 11, 2011 to demand the payment.
It added that the first phase of the contract was actually worth N25million, but that it was the council which valued it at N10,693,950 and thereafter issued a certificate of completion.
Custanleys said the contract provided for payment by the council for job certified completed to enable it continue its obligations under the agreement.
However, Aniocha, in a letter to the contractor through its lawyer, dated June 14, 2013, admitted owing the money.
The letter, signed by the Chairman, Transition Committee, reads in part: “I am directed to convey to you the council’s willingness for an expedited payment of the balance of the sum of N4,555,160 being owed your clients in respect of the completion of the first phase of the contract agreement entered into with them.” 10 percent retention fee is also long overdue,  making the total indebtedness of the council to custanleys limited  N. 5,555,160.


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