(By Iheanyi Ezinwo) -The Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, has gradually become a graveyard where the remaining few promising companies in the south south and south east sections of Nigeria are being frustrated to death over deliberate neglect by the company to pay as and when due.
Contractors of the company who spoke with Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt Wednesday lamented that, whereas Agip’s contract states that payments should be made in 90 days, after invoicing, but that payments are not made in some instances up to 24 months, a development which they regretted has pushed them deeply into debts, even as some of them have gone into bankruptcy.
We gathered that some of the owed contractors are losing priced properties to banks and other creditors, while scores have died out of frustration, at a time when payments are allegedly being made by NAOC to Italian companies.
They are therefore urging the Managing Director, Mr. Insulla and the Group Managing Director, Marco Rotondi to have a rethink and do the needful at a time when some owed companies are being compelled to lay off workers and compounding the unemployment situation in the country.
The troubled contractors hinted that they cherish their relationship with the company hence their unwillingness to go to court, but added that they might be compelled to do so as a last resort, in the face of the weary creditors becoming impatient and accusing them of being unfair and deliberately refusing to pay back their loans.
They are therefore pleading with the parent company of Agip, the government of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Non-Governmental Organisations, the international community and lovers of peace in the Niger Delta to prevail on the company to do the needful and save the troubled companies from bankruptcy.
It would be recalled that some weeks ago, scores of frustrated contractors of Nigerian Agip Oil Company protested on the streets of Port Harcourt over the unwillingness of Nigerian Agip Oil Company to pay oil servicing companies for jobs executed, and invoices duly issued as demanded.
Our efforts to reach officials of Nigerian Agip Oil Company on Wednesday proved abortive as the telephone line of Mr. Okpoyo of the public affairs department was switched off, while that of Mr. Andre Cecchi of the production department was not available.