By ANDREW OJIEZEL
In a swift reaction to the protest today, embarked upon by Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Lagos State Government has denied owing N224 million even as it said it was not ready to pay for what it does not owe.
in a statement on the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, noted that the said transaction took place between an independent marketer and the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) before this present government assumed office.
Ayorinde said the company wrote the government about the transaction, and government replied that it wanted to investigate the claim.
“The investigation proved that the claim by the company was fraudulent but while investigation was still ongoing, the company went to NUPENG, and the association agreed to demonstrate on behalf of the company.
“Our position is that the Lagos State Government cannot be stampeded or blackmailed into making payments that have not been verified for which investigation is still ongoing.
“While government is not against peaceful protest by aggrieved citizens, we would like to urge Lagosians to go about their businesses peacefully. No amount of blackmail will stop the government from strictly following due process and rule of law.”
It would be recalled that members and leaders of NUPENG on Tuesday embarked on protest to home their demand for payment of N224 million debt.