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28.09.2021 Social Justice For 6 Years, Abiodun Aguda’s Femab Properties Denies Contractor N3m Balance After Completing Project

Published 28th Sep, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

Oyegoke Adebisi, an engineer, has accused Femab Properties Ltd., a property management and real estate development company, of non-payment of a N3 million balance after executing a project for the company in 2015.

The engineer said he had executed the construction of a semi-detached duplex at Diamond Estate Phase II, Sangotedo, Lagos, for Femab through Ashpile Consult Nig. Ltd., a start-up he floated in 2014.

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“Seven years ago, I left paid employment to stand on my own. You know, before you pull out, you have to put some things in place that you can fall back on in the course of searching for bigger opportunities like contracts,” Adebisi told FIJ.

Abiodun Aguda, the Managing Director of Femab

Eventually, the engineer came into contact with Femab Properties, which was building Diamond Estates, Sangotedo, Lagos, at the time. During his first meeting with officials of the company, he was told to present an evidence that he belonged in the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to qualify for a contract.

“After registering with the firm, which required that I presented my COREN certificate, I was told that I would have to hold on for a while because there were no projects on ground for execution,” Adebisi also said.

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However, around the same time, an official of the company informed him of an ongoing project that had been abandoned due to financial constraints on the contractor.

Lanre Afolabi, the COO

“The official also made me understand that it was until that particular project was completed that a new one could be awarded. This served as the tonic I needed to take up what was left of the project because I was actually looking forward to getting more contracts from the company,” explained Adebisi.

Adebisi paid N500,000 to First Dekot Multinational Resources Ltd., the company that was initially in charge, to take over the project. After the contract was yielded to him, he continued with the execution. He also said Femab Properties was duly notified of the takeover before carrying on.

“The payment was supposed to be in three stages. As soon as you finish a stage and it is duly inspected by Femab officials, you get paid. To execute the project, I sold my car. I also added another N2 million to the money realised from the car sale, just to make sure I did a good job. I did not renege until I finished the first stage.”

After completing the first stage of the project, the engineer said getting his money from Femab Properties became a problem.

“My wife was pregnant during that period and I had no money to take care of her hospital bill because I had spent all I had on the project. I was so frustrated that I nearly committed suicide. I even wrote a suicide note to my wife then,” he said.

Adebisi also said he tried several times to reach officials of the company but all was to no avail.

“In the end, it took me three months to get N1.9 million out of the N6 million I was to realise upon completing the first stage of the project,” said Adebisi.

The contractor said the part sum was paid after he was able to meet with Abiodun Aguda, the Managing Director of Femab.

“I was also told N1.1 million would be deducted from my balance, being the money for the materials the company supplied during the construction.”

The engineer added that he had experienced serious financial difficulties following the company’s refusal to pay his balance. He also told FIJ that he petitioned the Lagos State Ministry of Justice on the matter but nothing was done.

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“I was only able to secure an employment recently with a private firm when the hardship was beyond control. My dream was never to return to working under anybody when I left paid employment seven years ago.

“My dream was to have my own little start-up and flourish as time progressed. However, this appears to have been temporarily crushed as Femab Properties refused to pay me the money that could have assisted me in forging ahead.”

FIJ emailed Lanre Afolabi, Group Chief Operating Officer at Femab, but he did not reply.

Published 28th Sep, 2021

By Tola Owoyele

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