General News of Saturday, 13 April 2013
Road contractors working on government contracts have threatened that if government fails to pay their outstanding arrears owed them from past contracts, “we would have to turn our backs on all government of Ghana funded projects.”
They have also indicated that they will not accept government’s excuses that it has no money to pay them for their services.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amin Sulemana, revealed on Friday that government did not have money to pay contractors because the current wage bill and demands of striking labour unions were putting pressure on the public purse.
According to the minister, government was not in a position to pay contractors at that time.
National Chairman of the Association of Road Contractors, Joseph Ebo Hughton, however, told Citi News government’s latest position on the payment issue represented a breach of contract.
“It is something that we cannot accept. We cannot accept it because government gave us contract with the understanding that we are going to be paid for the work that we are going to do for government,” he said.
He explained that the affected road contractors borrowed monies from financial institutions to undertake the contracts and were thus under pressure to settle their debts and pay their employees.
“Within every contract that we execute locally, within the contract document, government is supposed to pay us within 90 days of our submission of presentation of our payment certificate. And now as we speak, some of the claims have gone into 14 months, some 13 months, some 12 months and we’ve still not been paid so government has just abused this contract agreement,” he added.