Consultants for the Area Council Service Commission have petitioned Hajia Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory, for payment of their unpaid fees, which the government has withheld since 2020.
Consultants on training for the FCT Area Council Service Commission wrote to the minister of state on Friday, with the signatures of 44 aggrieved members, to bring to the attention of the FCT Administration the fact that, despite having been two years since the completion of the work in question, the commission’s management has still not paid the consultants for their services.
Mr Owolabi Olusegun, one of the consultants who signed the petition, explained that the action was taken because of previous attempts to get the unpaid consultancy fees of around N600 million paid, including meetings with the acting Administrative Secretary of the Commission, Alhaji Musa Loko, on December 19 and 28, 2022, had failed. At those meetings, it was agreed that payment would begin with the December allocation.
One excerpt from the petition reads as follows: “To our dismay, the acting Administrative Secretary failed to stick to the initial agreement reached on December 19, 2022, stating that until further directive from a higher authority is received before payment can commence as agreed. Since the inception of Alhaji Musa Loko in office, 100% of upfront payments have been made to his new consultants without reference to the procurement act and due diligence.
“On this note, we’re appealing and advising our amiable Minister of State to immediately halt further training until when all liabilities owed consultants are paid considering that most of the consultants took loans from banks and are way off mark on remittance of interests coupled with the economic hardship of the day where some cannot pay the school fees of their wards. And to cap it all, some of the consultants are late (dead) as a result of being unable to offset their hospital bills.”