The Imo State Government has criticised Innoson Motors’ assertion that the State owes it N2.5 billion in debt for the vehicles it supplied a few months ago as cheap blackmail and distasteful.
The Imo State Government insists that the company’s claims are half-truths, intended to impugn the integrity of the government for ulterior motives.
Reacting to a threat by the motor company threatening a lawsuit to recover “over N2.5b debt owed” it by the State Government, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba, deplored the manner Innoson Motors is going about the recovery of the so-called debt.
The Commissioner said the truth is that the government bought vehicles worth over N5 billion from Innoson Motors and has so far paid them N3.5b.
According to him, contrary to the claim of Innoson Motors, the said N2.5b is actually the balance due from the original value of the purchase, regretting that Innoson Motors, for reasons best known to them, decided to hide this fact from the public.
Emelumba insisted that the government has been paying off the debt since then and that the total cost of the vehicles supplied exceeded N5 billion.
He said the management of Innoson Motors was actually the one that breached the contractual agreement with the State Government regarding the sale and maintenance of the vehicles.
According to him, there is a clause in the purchase agreement stipulating the siting of a maintenance workshop in Owerri and a mobile workshop as well, by Innoson Motors, for the maintenance of the vehicles.
He noted that in spite of the fact that the company breached this agreement, the State Government has been servicing the debt and still maintaining the vehicles, disclosing that more than 70 percent of the vehicles have already broken down.
He said both the threat by the company and the resort to media trial of the government were in bad faith.