Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade has ordered a stoppage to the award of new contracts by both the Ministry of Police Affairs and the Nigeria Police Force until all outstanding liabilities resulting from past ones have been settled.
The minister gave the warning just as the Association of Police Contractors told the minister that they were being owed about N5billion out of which nothing has been paid in the current budget and appealed to the Minister to come to their aid, as they too had liabilities to their creditors.
Olubolade who gave the directive at an interactive meeting with contractors handling police projects nationwide, frowned at the situation where contracts for projects are awarded without recourse to the availability of funds to pay for them, adding that such practices would stifle meaningful progress which cannot be made with a heavy burden of debts.
According to the Minister, while the Ministry and the Police establishment have the fundamental responsibility to execute projects to upgrade police structures and facilities and ensure that such projects are paid for, it is also expected of the contractors to fulfill their obligations of delivering on time and according to specifications.
He warned that the Ministry would not hesitate to blacklist any contractor that fails to deliver projects on schedule and according to specifications, as the Transformation Programme of the present government greatly frowns at the issue of project delays and abandonment.
He further told the contractors that the mandate of the Ministry is to properly position the Nigeria Police in terms of training and provision of necessary infrastructure to make them perform their duties maximally adding that as major stakeholders, the contractors must be ready to perform at the same wavelength with the Ministry or risk being blacklisted.
He promised that the Ministry would take steps to address the backlog of debts owed the contractors, including those incurred prior to the inception of the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, but appealed for patience on the part of the contractors.