Pay us GH¢3bn for construction of cocoa roads – Cocoa roads contractors demand from COCOBOD

Mr Achiaw

Mr Achiaw

The Concerned Cocoa Roads Contractors (CCRC) Association has appealed to the government to intervene for COCOBOD to pay contractors which worked on the Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation Project.

According to the CCRC, the failure of COCOBOD to pay them about GH¢3 billion for  roads constructed four years ago, under the Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation and Improvement Project, is crippling the businesses of about 120 members of CCRC.

The previous government initiated the Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation Project to construct new roads and rehabilitate dilapidated roads in the cocoa growing areas of the country, to facilitate transportation and carting of cocoa to the harbour.

The Head of CCRC, Akoa Kofi Owusu Achiaw told the Ghanaian Times in interview in Accra, yesterday that efforts by the association for COCOBOD to pay monies owed them had proved futile.

But the Head of Public Affairs of COCOBOD, Mr Noah Amenya said the new management suspended the cocoa roads to do auditing of work on the cocoa roads.

“We have gone through the auditing of the roads and some contractors have been given clearance,” he said.

Mr Amenya said the CCRC which claimed they had been paid was using the media to win public sympathy.


He said some of the members of the CCRC had passed away due to the pressure on them by their bankers to pay the loans they secured to pre-finance the construction of the cocoa roads.

“The assets such as houses and road construction equipment of some of our members have been sold by the banks to defray monies they borrowed to pre-finance works on the cocoa roads,” he said.

Mr Achiaw disclosed that about 6000 staffs of the members of CCRC had been laid off due to the decision of the government to suspend work on the Cocoa Roads, thus making life difficult for them and their families.

“Currently, our road construction equipment are being rotten in the bush due to the suspension of the cocoa road project and we are incurring huge debts in securing the machines,” he lamented.

Mr Achiaw explained that the state was incurring huge debt by the refusal of COCOBOD to pay the contractors who worked on the cocoa roads about four years ago.

With an outstanding debt of GH¢1.5 billion which COCOBOD should have paid to the CCRC on completed cocoa roads, Mr Achiaw said the debt had grown  to about GH¢3 billion due to the interest which had been  accruing on the debt from 2014 to 2018.

He said per the contract agreement signed by COCOBOD with the contractors on the Cocoa Roads, COCOBOD was mandated to pay an interest of 30 per cent on any outstanding debt from 2014 to 2018.

“COCOBOD is causing huge financial loss to the State by refusing to pay contractors who have worked on cocoa roads and it is about time the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta stepped in to save the country from further incurring debts,” he said.

Mr Achiaw said per the contract agreement signed by COCOBOD with members of CCRC on the cocoa roads, COCOBOD was obligated to pay an interest of 30 per cent on any outstanding debt after the contractors have completed work on the project.

He said COCOBOD and its Board suspended the cocoa roads project in 2017 without any explanation to the members of the CCRC, adding that members of the CCRC could not fathom why government suspended the Cocoa Roads Rehabilitation Project, when the CCRC had signed valid contract with COCOBOD on the project.

Mr Achiaw said even though an inspection of a private consultant contracted by COCOBOD to check works done under the cocoa roads project revealed that all the roads contracts given to the CCRC members had been completed, COCOBOD had suspended the Interim Payment Certificate raised by CCRC members on works they had completed.








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