Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
Prospective traders seeking space in the 920-store capacity Aba Mega Hall, Abia State, may lose their investment in the edifice as the contractors who executed the jobs, estimated at more than N2 Billion, have threatened court action to forestall moves to rent the shops.
They warned traders to steer clear of the structure until alleged fraudulent payments that trailed the projects are addressed and their contract sum is paid to them in full.
The mega mall was executed as a Private Public Partnership (PPP) project between the Abia State Government, Greenfield Assets Limited and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) on a tripartite arrangement with the Abia State Government providing the land at Osissioma Park, Aba, while the Greenfield Assets Limited is the developer and the FCMB the financier.
Spokesman of the contractors, Mr. Willie E. Ureki, told Journalists that the contractors resolved for a court action as recent development indicated that the developer had a game plan to defraud them of more than 80 percent of their investment in the project.
According to him, the 10 contractors that executed 92 shops each at the sum of N128.4 million, have received just a paltry sums, adding that the Group Managing Director of Greenfield Assets Limited, Mr. Paul Obanua, was allegedly informing the public that the company was not owing the contractors.
He explained that the Abia State Government has initiated moves to give out the shops on the strength of the information from Greenfield Assets Limited and warned that the contractors would frustrate plans to sell the shops.
Mr. Ureki, giving an insight into the entire deal, recalled that the fear of the contractors was heightened by the use of soldiers to chase some of them out of the site when they were being owed millions of naira.
The spokesman revealed that at the onset of the contract work, payment milestone for cash disbursement in advance was agreed upon with the contractors, stressing that sooner than construction works started at the site than Greenfield unilaterally altered the terms of payment from the first initial cash payment of N24.1million to mere N7million.
“Not too long, the contractors began to smell a rat when invoices were submitted and no payment was forthcoming”, he stated, adding that the contractors were also reduced to mere labourers as Greenfield Management allegedly stopped them from bringing materials to site as all materials were to be supplied by them.
He said it has been proved that management of FCMB has recently released the entire funds to Thomclem Limited’s Account from where it was transferred to Greenfield Assets Limited, alleging that top management of FCMB was part of the fraud as they kept mute and fail to respond to the complaints of the contractors who had alerted them of the fraudulent intentions.
Mr. Ureki used the medium to appeal to Abia State Government, who is asking traders to take up the shops, to investigate the alleged fraud and step in and ensure that the contractors are paid to avoid litigation that would mar efforts to occupy the mall.
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Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
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