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Pay us now or we shut down all projects – Contractors

The Association of Civil Engineering and Road Contractors, and the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors have threatened to lock up all infrastructural projects built by their members if the government fails to pay them for their work.

The groups have issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to comply with the payment of their certificates or risk being faced with the closure of ongoing and completed projects amidst demonstrations.

At a joint press conference on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, members of the association expressed reservations with the attitude of the government.

The president of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Prosper Ledi, said their conditions keep worsening by the day as their banks mount relentless pressure on them to pay their loans.

He added that several petitions to the government, including requests via the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Council of State to persuade the government to settle debts owed them, have proved futile.

He said they were earlier informed about some challenges at the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) in relation to the payment of their certificates and their members went there to effect the necessary corrections, but “as to why some members have been paid and others left out, it has to do with funds”.

For him, “They do not understand [the development] because you [government] told us that you have taken some loans to settle our contractors. So, those who don’t have issues with their certificates should have been settled”, however, that is not the case.

According to him, only the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education appears to be sympathising with them.

Some local contractors have been accused of doing shoddy works hence the halt to their payment, but Mr Ledi refuted that accusation.

“We are an association and we regulate our members [so] we make sure we do genuine work; we don’t do shoddy work”.

He further chastised the government for giving projects to foreign contractors to the detriment of the local contractors.

“They should tell us why foreign contractors are being preferred now. We can see that most of the foreign contractors, they come in and there is no regulation and you find them everywhere, and, we, the local contractors, do not get any work, so that is our cry,” he underscored.

For his part, the Chairman of the Association of Conscientious Public Sector Contractors, Mr Bernard Azumah, complained that the construction sector is gradually collapsing and further pleaded with the government to respond to their calls.

Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com

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