Contractors demand estimated Ghc 2m  owed them by govt

The Joint Contractors Association has given the government a two-week ultimatum to pay monies owed its members or be on the lookout for series of actions to exact that from the government.

They told a news conference in Accra yesterday that failure by the government to settle the monies owed them, some as far back as 2017, has left them traumatised and frustrated.

As a collection contractors, they estimate that the government owed them in excess of GH¢2 million.

“We appeal to the government to as a matter of urgency, pay what they owe us. We are not asking for bailouts or handouts. We are not asking for cost of living adjustments. We are only asking for a cause to live our lives in peace. We demand payment for our toils in service to the nation.

“We are giving government two weeks from today September 13, 2022 toSeptember27, 2022 to respond favourably to our request or we would be left with no option than to embark on industrial action and explore other legal actions available to us,” Richard Nyarko, Co-Chair and Spokesperson for the group told the conference.

The contractors, Mr Nyarko said bought into government’s developmental agenda and decided to join in this direction but were not being treated well by the government in return.

“We picked our shovels and excavators, graders and levels, wiped out our bank accounts, borrowed from banks, friends and family. We constructed feeder roads and urban roads, classrooms, dormitories, bungalows, offices, fence walls, E-Blocks and what have you.

“The government is happily utilising our built-facilities and claiming all the credit and applause. This cannot be right! Imagine living through all this with no income because you have sunk all your resources into work for government without getting paid; and you can picture the dire state of the conditions of our members,” he narrated.

The saddest part of the narrative, Mr Nyarko said was that the outstanding payments do not attract any interest in most cases.

“So as the value of the cedi depreciates, so does the value of our monies,” he said observing that even if they were paid ‘today’ “the exchange rate losses, inflation, and bank interest rates will wipe out all the value of the money”.

As a result of their indebtedness to project financiers, Mr Nyarko said, several members of their association were being hounded down by their creditors to the point of bankruptcy, depression, sickness and even death in some cases.

“Some have lost their houses and properties they put up as collateral. Homes are broken and marriages on rocks. Some people can’t even sleep at home for fear of being harassed by creditors. How pathetic!” he exclaimed.

Any further delay by the government in releasing monies owed them, Mr Nyarko said, would further worsen the plight of members who had reached a point where they no longer have excuses for their creditors.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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