DAILY GUIDE’s information has it that road contractors in the country have given the government up to tomorrow, Friday, May 24, to pay them for all road contracts they have executed over the last three years across the country or else they would advise themselves.
The ultimatum was issued yesterday, Wednesday, when some members of the Road Contractors Association (RCA) clad in red bands stormed the office of the Director of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Finance, Mr Paul Asimenu to register their anger and frustration over government’s persistent refusal to pay them for contracts they have duly executed, some with bank loans and others with their own money.
“We have been officially awarded contracts, met all requirements and regulations governing such contracts and completed these contracts but up till now the government has not made any efforts to pay us for the contracts we have executed over the last three years,” Madam Joana Adjei, one of the contractors said stressing that all her businesses have severely been affected for non-payment of these contracts .
The government was said to be owing the contractors in excess of GH¢350 million as of June last year with some of the outstanding payments standing between one and three years.
“Government is owing us GH¢202 million road contracts to be funded from the consolidated fund, GH¢172 million to be funded from the Ghana Road Fund and GH¢88.8 million to be funded by the COCOBOD through the Ministry of Finance,” Mr Kwasi Baah, one of the contractors said.
According to Mr Baah, for the periods that the government had not honoured its obligations to them, the contractors had not been able to pay their workers, some over one year.
“These workers that we have employed also have dependants and so they have been putting a lot of pressure on us to pay them because they can no longer take of their family,” he said stressing that some of them had to always stay away from home to avoid their debtors coming to terrorise them.
“As I am standing here, I don’t even have GH¢100 in my pocket as a contractor with workers that I take care of,” one of the contractors said.
According to the contractors, the government has been tossing them and giving them vain promises about its commitment to pay them.
“We have always been meeting representatives of the government over our contracts money and the story has always been that we should wait for some time for the government to pay us. We are now fed up and have to advise ourselves,” Mr Baah said.
The Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry told the contractors to come back tomorrow for a crucial meeting and the ministry’s final word on their situation.
Source: Daily Guide
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