Pay us our arrears – Contractors appeal to govt

The president of the Association of the Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG), Prosper Yao Ledi, has appealed to government to pay off the huge outstanding debts owed local contractors in the country.

He stated that delayed payment, which had bedeviled hardworking contractors, was not only contributing to the death of the members of the association, but was also throwing many out of business.

“We are dying and if we do not put an end to this incessant canker of delayed payments, our industry will be completely wiped out soon,” he stated when he addressed the 11th Annual General Conference of the ABCECG at Koforidua.

The event brought together members of the association to deliberate on ways to find lasting solution to delayed payments of contracts by the government and also deliberate on the challenges they are facing and the way forward.

Mr Ledi stated that there were many things the members of the association intended to do to support nation building but due to what he described as “almighty perennial delayed payments which has become an albatross on our neck that our financial strengths and businesses are almost grinding to their knees.”

Stopping short to disclose how much the government owed local contractors, he appealed to the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, to prevail on the President to heed the plea of the association by paying off the huge outstanding debts he came to meet to the local contractors.

“It will be a song of much joy and relief to the contractors that during the period of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delayed payment which bedeviled our hard working contractors has finally became a thing of the past,” he said.

Mr Ledi said the members of the association became very happy when the payment for GETFund and Road Fund contractors begun early this year but “to our disappointment, payment was halted even though we have been told that a loan has been secured to clear the arrears.”

He also expressed the frustration of the association over the manner in which foreign construction firms were coming into the country to take over many projects that should have been reserved for local contractors.

To tackle the challenge, he suggested that it should be a requirement for any construction company to register with at least one of the notable recognised associations before they could undertake any project in Ghana.

“Indeed, such company must of necessity also have a Ghanaian equity. We must be in charge of the commanding height of the construction sector, otherwise we make mockery of our development,” he stated.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Atta Akyea said his ministry recognised that the inactivity of most of the members of the ABCECG was due either to delayed payments or total lack of jobs.

He said his outfit in conjunction with the leadership of the association would evolve a plan to ensure that the policy on local content would allow for the allocation of at least 45 per cent of all infrastructural construction works to members in good standing.


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