Contractor holds keys

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 27th March, 2013

MONEY owed by the National Housing Corporation to a contractor is depriving government nurses of housing in NCD, Housing Minister Paul Isikiel told parliament yesterday.
He said the nurses were unable to occupy 18 houses built by Roadstoa Ltd at Gerehu Stage 3 because NHC did not have K5 million to pay the contractor.
Isikiel said the outstanding payment prevented the necessary certificates of completion and occupancy from being processed.
“For the case of our good nurses, they are unable to take possession of the fully completed houses because the contractor is still owed money and cannot provide the necessary certificate of completion and certificate of occupancy to allow the members of the association to move in,” he said.
“The project is fully completed.  However, the outstanding payment owing to Roadstoa contractor has prevented the nurses from moving in.”
The contract for construction of 18 houses was initially given to Kawjo Construction Ltd in 2008 under the government’s housing pilot project.
The PNG Nurses’ Association signed a memorandum of agreement with NHC and paid K3.86 million for the houses.
However, Kawjo Construction failed to complete the construction resulting in Roadstoa taking over the project.  Roadstoa proposed K5 million to NHC for variations but NHC did not have the money to pay.
The minister said a submission was given to the planning department for K5 million to pay Roadstoa but was rejected.
He called on the government to resolve the payment issue by providing additional funds to NHC.
Health Minister Michael Malabag said his department was aware of the matter and had written to NHC to find money to pay the contractor.
Meanwhile, PNGNA president Sr Eimi Kaptigau told The National yesterday that the delay had affected the nurses’ wellbeing and work.