Impeccable information reaching The National Tribute reveals that there is rising tension between the President John Mahama's led government and road contractors in the country over a huge debt owed the contractors.
The information revealed that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government is indebted to road contractors in the country to the tune of GH¢750 million and has so far indicated when the contractors will be paid.
"It is creating a huge tension between the government and contractors. You know the contractors, most of the time, go for loans to do their work and are expected to pay the loans with interest. But for the past two years, the government has not been able to pay the contractors", a source told this paper.
The source further said that due to the huge debt owed the contractors, some of them are now abandoning contracts of the government, especially major roads constructions across the country.
Though, the source said government had spent GH¢798 million only this year from the Consolidated Fund and a further GH¢600 million from the Road Fund on road projects in the country, it still owes contractors GH¢750 million.
The paper's checks around the corridors of power revealed that the reason for the government's indebtedness to the contractors is because instead of funds from the Road Fund being used to pay for the road projects being undertaken by the government, the funds are rather being used to finance heavy projects that do not come under road construction, causing the neglect of the contractors.
The Road Fund is sustained from fuel levies, vehicle registration fees, road user fees, road/bridge tolls, ferry tolls and international transit fees.
With the passage of the Energy Sector Levy Bill in December, 2015, as well as the over 1,000 per cent increment in road tolls, the Fund is expected to accrue to as much as GH¢1.2 billion by the end of December, this year.
The source indicated that though, the NDC's performance in the road sector has been very impressive as compared to what the NPP government did during its time but added that the huge debt owed the contractors is worrying and must be looked at.
Our investigations uncovered that because of the forthcoming elections, the government, over the past 12 months, had awarded hundreds of road contracts but most of the contracts had been abandoned by contractors because of the debt owed them by the government.
The unwillingness of the government to pay contractors who have been constructing roads across the length and breadth of the country has resulted in some of them abandoning uncompleted projects and thus causing a lot of inconvenience to road users.
"In fact, most of these roads have been abandoned, worsening the plight of the motoring public. The situation is so bad that even payment for cheapest works such as grass cutting, desilting of drains, potholes patching, grading of gravel surfaces on trunk roads are in arrears of close to two years" the source said.
Source: The National Tribute
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|