The Federal Government and state governments' huge internal debt exposure is taking its toll on major sectors of the economy and the construction industry isn't left out.
Construction firms in Nigeria claim the Federal Government and state governments are hugely indebted to them in excess N500 billion and unless these debts are cleared, they may be forced to scale down operations and put hundreds of Nigerians out of job. The president of Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) Mr. Solomon Ogunbusola disclosed the debt profile at a briefing in Lagos.
He said the Federal Government and some state governments have failed to pay firms for completed projects and this is affecting their businesses negatively.
FOCI comprises CFAO, Jagal, Costain, Ponti and Co., G. Cappa Plc., Zeberced Ltd., DTV and CO Ltd.
Others are Hitech, Structec, C & C Construction, FADCO Nigeria Ltd., Inter Bau, Cutix, S&M Nigeria Ltd, Primi Construction Ltd, EBCON Engineering And Construction Ltd., Niger Construction Ltd., RCC Construction, JKN Construction, SETRACO, Arab Construction and others.
FOCI president said, "The Federal Ministry of Works alone is owing our members N500 billion. One company is owed over N70 billion. The records are there.
"We're now retrenching our workers. Up till last week we were still retrenching our staff. The process will continue till we get to a stable place.
"We merely open the offices, because we want to remain in office hoping that the incoming administration will be a better one for us. We cannot keep quiet or hide any longer."
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is only interested in exposing private sector debtors, leaving out the big government debtors.
Source: Daily Trust