The much delayed Fourah Bay College (FBC) rehabilitation and Expansion project has faced another major setback following the owing of local contractors millions of Leones by the Guinean/Senegalese based Construction Company – SOGEFEL.
According to the aggrieved local contractors and documents available to NEW AGE, a legal contract was signed between them and the company 3 years ago for foundation laying of the junior staff quarters, block works at the Bengazi staff construction site – Tree Planting, lot works foundation by day, Bengazi foundation digging, Bengazi foundation block works and construction works at the male hostels.
One of the contractors, Alie Sesay told this NEW AGE that on the 16 March 2017, he was awarded a contract to lay out the foundation for the construction of the junior staff quarters and paid Le 30 million out of the Le 32 million agreed on in the said contract.
Also, for the Bengazi block works, he was paid Le 7 million out of the Le 8 million agreed upon and the contract was prematurely terminated without any valid reason after he had spent an extra Le 2 millions to hire labourers.
For the lot yard foundation by day work, he claimed that out of the Le 2,700,000 agreed upon in the contract, he was paid Le 1 million.
While for the Bengazi foundation digging, he said Le 7,500,000 was paid to him out of the Le 8 million agreed on in the contract.
For the Bengazi foundation block works, Mr. Sesay maintained that out of the Le 15 million agreed upon in the contract, he was paid only Le 13,500,000 and for the male hostels construction he received Le 30 million out of the Le 35,000,000 in the contract.
Another local contractor, who owns the Abu Bakarr Construction Company, claims that SOGEFEL owed him Le 12 million for similar construction works he had done for them.
The local contractors claimed that they have completed all the projects assigned to them but that the company is refusing to pay them the full amount of money agreed on in the contract.
Meanwhile, they have reported the matter to the Ministry of Labour who has vowed to take the necessary actions in ensuring that the local contractors get what is due them.
They have also blamed the ACON Police Station at Maranatha- Regent Village for falling to act on the several reports of human rights violations and other offences reported against the company because of the brown envelopes they are receiving.
That also the company has brought over 200 workers from neighboring Guinea to perform works Sierra Leoneans are capable of doing and that none of them has working permit to work in the country as by law prescribed.
Efforts to contact Director of Operations – SOGEFEL, Mr. Kakay proved futile as he failed to pick up his call despite several attempts to reach him.