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06.08.2022 Featured Two Years After Receiving Services, First Bank Yet to Pay Document Management Firm’s N2.1m

Published 6th Aug, 2022

By Basit Jamiu

JEF Integrated Synergy Ltd., a Lagos-based document management firm, has accused First Bank of refusing to complete the payment for services it received in August 2019 and 2020.

The company told FIJ that First Bank had reached out for document reorganisation on a contract-based arrangement in August 2019 and the following year.

“First Bank reached out to us for the reorganisation of their document in 2019 and 2020. They called us for a meeting. At the meeting, they gave us an award letter for wave 1 in 2019 and then wave 2 for 2020,” the company said.

“We went to Imo State with our staff and lodged them. Wave 1 and 2 had three milestones, and each milestone had its own payment.

“For wave 1, 612 days after completing the job, they said they discovered the files were not properly organised. Meanwhile, it was not our fault. The fault was from their staff. Whenever EFCC or anyone else came to request for a specific file, the bank‘s staff would just go there and, in the process, disorganise the files we had already organised.”

Amount owed for milestone three, wave 1
Amount owed for milestone three, wave 1

The company said that whenever the file was returned to the archive, the bank’s staff would just drop it in the wrong place. The company also alleged that the documents were not returned to the archive sometimes.

JEF told FIJ that it was only paid for the first and second milestones in the first wave. The company said First Bank insisted that some of the disorganised files had to be corrected before payment for the third milestone.

“So far, they have refused to pay for the third milestone. They also called us again in 2020 for wave 2 in Port Harcourt. We completed the job, but they also did not pay for the third milestone,” said the company.

JEF told FIJ that the actual money owed on wave 1 was N1,020,775, and N1,084,852 on wave 2.

Milestone three, Wave 2
Milestone three, Wave 2

QUALITY ASSURANCE DELAY

The company told FIJ that the inspection of the job done came a year later.

“Normally, it was supposed to be a few days after the completion of the reorganisation. But the quality assurance company hired to inspect the job did not come for over a year. When they finally did the inspection, things were not the same because the staff had scattered some files,” said JEF.

The company said it was willing to make the correction but could not do so for security reasons.

“Eventually, we agreed to go but appealed that due to insecurity, we wouldn’t be able to go immediately. At that time, IPOB was killing people everywhere in the southeast. When we received a message that insecurity had subsided, we informed them that we wanted to go and do the job, but they said no. They said they had done the job. We asked that they deduct the money they spent in the correction and give us the remaining,” said JEF.

The company said it contacted Deborah Olaniyi, First Bank’s project manager, but she refused to provide tangible reasons the money had not been paid.

When FIJ contacted Olaniyi, she said she only supervised the project and was not in charge of paying vendors. There was no reply to the email sent to First Bank at press time.

Published 6th Aug, 2022

By Basit Jamiu

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