There was unrest at the Federal Government College, Ilorin, Kwara State as Food vendors and a printer protested against N31.4m allegedly owed them by the school.
The protesters chanted songs and displaced placards with different messages, including, ‘Federal Ministry of Education, please pay us our money,’ ‘Minister of Education, we seek your urgent intervention and attention on this matter as we are being owed and are dying of hunger,’ ‘We, the food vendors of FGC, Ilorin, are being owed since 2010/2011,’ and ‘President Muhammadu Buhari, intervene in our problem as we are all old and dying.’
The spokesman for the protesters, Mr. Steven Iwalaye, said they supplied foodstuffs such as meat and other agricultural produce to the school between 2010 and 2011.
He stated that they had made several appeals and sent demand notices to the school authorities for their money to be paid, but all in vain.
Another member of the group, Hajia Atinuke Olumo alleged that a vendor died last year as a result of financial challenge after several appeals for her money to be paid to her failed.
She said the contractors were going through a lot of financial challenges and hardship as a result of the non-payment of their money.
She stated that some of them were at the risk of losing their property which they used as collaterals for loans.
She called on Buhari and the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, to ensure that the money was paid.
Olumo said, “The ministry had earlier sent its verifier to check our claims at the school.
“It set up a panel consisting workers from the ministry in Abuja and subsequently sent for us. I was among the three that went to Abuja.
“We met with the director and she said we should be patient that the money would be paid. That was in 2012.
“After that, they said we should be paid from the school account because the ministry always send money to the school.
“We want our money. As I am talking to you, the bank that I borrowed money from wants to sell my house.”
The principal of FGC, Ilorin, Mr. Isa Adamu, said his predecesor, Mrs.Rita Opaleke, informed him of the debt when she was handing over to him.
He said he followed up Opaleke’s recommendation for the vendors and the printer to be paid.
Adamu said, “I am new here. When I came, the retired principal told me that she had already written to Abuja about it.
“The last time I was in Abuja, a director advised me to send a letter to remind the ministry about the issue of payment to our food vendors and others.
“We immediately wrote and dispatched the letter to Abuja. We are waiting for a positive reply from the ministry.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )