NCD contractors set up camp, wait for K3m payout

National, Normal

WOMEN and children joined frustrated National Capital District contractors camping outside the Education Department at FinCorp Haus, Waigani, on Tuesday night protesting the department’s delay in settling more than K3 million which, they claimed, are owed to them since 2007.
The contractors, employed by NCDC education division under the RESI programme, brought their pots and sleeping gear to the headquarters where they slept.
“They hope to get their money before the close of accounts on Dec 14,” NCD education contractors working committee chairman William Ebenosi said yesterday, adding that they would continue to camp there until payments were made.
“A total of K3.4 million is pending from the lump sum of K9.2 million in total claims for contractors,” he said, adding that so far, the department had released 65 cheques, for October, November and December.
“The first lot of cheques were issued last month and this amounted to about K300,000.
“The other was issued on Monday and all were paid to different contractors in NCD.”
However, he could not verify the total amount released so far.
Yesterday afternoon first assistant secretary (corporate services) Loui Kemau and assistant secretary (general education) Ouka Lavaki addressed the group in the presence of armed policemen.
They said they had no funds to pay the contractors and assured them that they would be paid.