The Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry (GhCCI) has given a 14- day ultimatum to government to pay GH¢1.8 billion owed them by the Ghana Road Fund for works done by road contractors, consultants and suppliers.
This was aside the interest rate on the amount, which constitutes about 60 per cent of government’s indebtedness, the GhCCI said.
According to them, the workers of the construction industry would embark on a series of nationwide demonstrations, including picketing at the head office of the Ghana Road Fund, the Ghana Highway Authority and the Ministry of Finance, to press home their demand.
The Chief Executive Officer of GhCCI, Mr Emmanuel Cherry, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, cautioned that the chamber should not be blamed or held responsible for any consequences if the government, through its agencies, failed to address the outstanding payment immediately.
“The leadership would not be responsible for any brouhaha or threats of demonstration and other forms of venting of displeasure by contractors, consultants and suppliers,” he reiterated.
According to him, in an earlier statement, the leadership of the Chamber continued to appeal to all the aggrieved and affected contractors, consultants and suppliers from the various professional institutions, Trades and Artisanal Associations and other service providers in the built environment to remain calm as the leadership worked to resolve the issues.
He acknowledged that the non-payment for works done had caused numerous challenges to contractors and suppliers and had even affected the economy as a whole, especially during the coronavirus era.
Speaking on possible remedies, Mr Cherry noted that “the roadmap designed after a tripartite negotiation with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Roads and Highway was thrown overboard due to reasons known to the two ministries”.
He further stressed the need for the building and civil engineering contractors, road contractors, consultants, electrical contractors, tipper truck drivers, artisans, architects, surveyors, engineers, financial institution workers, and suppliers to remain calm and patient as the leadership sought to resolve the impasse.
“We are calling on the government through the GETFund, Road Fund, PDS/Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to bring finality to this impasse,” Mr Cherry added.
He further added that wives were still asking their contractor and consultant husbands for money as the Christmas approached.
BY NORMAN COOPER