Imo state government has portrayed as mischievous and cheap blackmail the report by Innoson Motors that it is owing the company N2.5b being cost of the vehicles it procured some months ago, stressing that the company’s claim are not entirely true and was intended to soil the integrity of the state government for ulterior motives.
Responding to a threat by the company that it is filing a lawsuit to recover” over N2.5B debt owed’ it by the state government, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba condemned the steps in which the company is taking in order to recover the so called debt.
The Commissioner stated that the truth is that the government procured vehicles worth over N5b from Innoson motors and has so far paid them N3.5b.
According to him, against the claim of Innoson Motors, the said N2.5b is actually the balance due from the original value of the purchase. He regretted that Innoson motors, for reasons best known to them, decided to keep this fact from the public.
Emelumba stressed that the total cost of the vehicles obtained was in excess of N5b and that the government has been servicing the debt since then.
He noted that the management of Innoson Motors was the one that breached the contractual agreement with the state government as regards the sale and maintenance of the vehicles.
According to him, there is a part of the purchase agreement which includes the siting of a maintenance workshop in Owerri and a mobile workshop as well, by Innoson Motors, for the maintenance of the vehicles.
He said that in spite of the fact that the company did not meet up with this agreement, the state government has been servicing the debt and still maintaining the vehicles, revealing that more than 70% of the vehicles have already broken down.
He said both the threat by the company and resort to media trials of the government were in bad faith.
“It appears the company is out to rubbish the integrity of the government, otherwise it would not have twisted the facts of the case and published the same concerning this honest business transaction, even when it failed to show the public the terms of the contract and the clauses the government breached therein. “The whole thing smacks of mischief and bad faith,” Emelumba said.
He also expressed displeasure that Innoson Motors had not actually exhausted all means of negotiation before menacing the government with a lawsuit.
He said “the mischievous resort to media trial has confirmed that the company is more interested in compromising the integrity of the government rather than being paid its outstanding balance from the contract sum”
The commissioner revealed that although no court proceedings has been served, the government will meet the company in court as soon as a process is served.