The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry (GhCCI), Emmanuel Cherry says government owes contractors about $1.8 billion.
According to him, the amount is as a result of delayed payment and accumulation of interest on certificates locked up in the ministry.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Emmanuel Cherry stated that “Our rough estimate that we have put across is $1.8 billion. As they said earlier, according to the ministry’s statistics or data that was relayed to us after the handing over of the previous administration to this administration, they made the assertion that they inherited a huge debt from the previous administration.”
“On the side of road farms and cocoa roads, there are a number of works that have gone on but the government of the day also took steps to at least try to validate or conduct an audit to ascertain the validity of those projects and as a result, all the projects in the country were put to halt. In the contract sense, over 3,000 certificates are locked up in the ministry,” he added
The CEO of GhCCI stated that although an ultimatum was given to the government in October 2020, they have still not received any information on what their payments.
He added that “we have engaged a number of authorities, the National Security, National Labour Commission, Ministry of Roads and Highways, GETfund on a number of discussions” but to no avail.
Road contractors give government 14-day ultimatum to pay arrears
The Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry had earlier given the government a 14-day ultimatum to pay all outstanding debt owed its members.
The road contractors threatened to demonstrate should their warning fall on deaf ears.
According to the Chamber, the government’s inability to pay them their due has led to the loss of jobs and properties used as collateral by its members for bank loans.
“We are only trying to see how best we can let cool heads prevail. Our people are agitating, they have been calling for a demonstration for a while now. But we have managed to cool them down for some time. And when you talk of contractors demonstrating, it is not just any ordinary one you see on the streets. They are going to block the roads with heavy-duty machines among others. If you owe a contractor, the effect trickles down to all spheres,” said Mr. Cherry.
The Akufo-Addo after assuming office in 2017 put on hold all road project to pave way for an audit into such agreements.
Although the audit has been completed, the report has not been made public.