Road Contractors threaten to sue gov’t over unpaid debt, say they can’t wait for IMF deal
Concerned Cocoa Road Contractors Association of Ghana are agitating over government’s delayed payment of debt owed them for work done on various roads across the country.
According to the aggrieved contractors, they cannot wait for government to secure IMF facility agreement before they are paid threatening, they may be forced to take legal action en bloc if the debt is not paid by mid-April this year.
Due to financial challenges, almost all the cocoa road contractors have left site across the country.
The contractors said this when they marched to the office of Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry for an emergency meeting with leadership on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the same day President Akufo Addo declared during presentation of the state of the Nation Address that his administration has constructed more roads than any other government in Ghana’s 4th Republic history.
Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, Emmanuel Cherry said failure by government to honour a promise to pay contractors by the end of 2022 has increased frustration among members as they are being chased by their creditors, suppliers and employees.
“Before the close of the year, the Hon. Minister came out promising the entire world that he is going to pay contractors before the end of the year. The year came to an end, but no show. As we speak today, nothing has happened, so contractors are being left in a dilemma and very confused. Now suppliers, employees are all over contractors because they thought the promises made by the Honourable Minister has been fulfilled, that, contractors are trying to run away with their money which is not the case. So the Minister has rather worsened the plight and the case of contractors upon that single pronouncement,” Emmanuel Cherry said.
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Mr. Cherry cautioned that contractors are dying and cannot wait for government to secure an IMF deal before they are paid.
“Authorities should be proactive especially the road fund and do the needful to pay contractors, we can’t wait for IMF money before they come and pay contractors, there is every deduction that is ongoing, we buy fuel on daily bases, we do DVLA renewal on daily bases and there are other deductions like statutory deductions that is ongoing that rake into their account, what are they doing with that money”.
The Ghana chamber of Construction Industry demanded accountability on Electronic transaction levy(E-Levy) part of which was promised to service debt of contractors and award new road contracts.
The Vice Chairman of the Chamber of construction Industry Nana Opare Kwarfo also Kyidomhene of Aburi Atwiesin and CEO of Jilcon construction Ltd explained that, somewhere 20th December 2022 COCOBOD paid between 10 to 15% of the debt owed contractors with promise to pay the outstanding early this year which has not been fulfilled.
He pleaded with the government to release funds for payment of contractors to avoid.