Tamale, April 27, GNA – Mr Martins Nnuro, the National President of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG) has demanded immediate payments from Government and the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) for its members for contracts that have been fully executed.
He complained that the undue delay in payments from the Ministry of Finance and the GETFund was putting untold hardship on members saying, ‘Contractors who have not received payments from the GETFund and the Ministry of Finance are in bad state; stressed, confused, sick and incapable of doing anything’.
Mr. Nnuro also expressed concerns over the involvement of Chinese contractors in the construction industry of the country, noting that, the fragmented nature of the industry had rendered regulations impossible, saying, ‘We need them to join our association so that we can harmonize in the execution of work’.
Mr Nnuro was speaking in Tamale on Friday during the annual general meeting of ABCECG, which brought members of the association across the country together for a two-day capacity training workshop to brainstorm on issues affecting them.
The two-day meeting was on the theme; ‘Development through partnership with our stakeholders’.
He admonished the Government to take a critical look at the construction industry, which he noted, contributed about 11 percent to the country’s GDP and that in the past, contractors were given mobilization to execute contracts but currently contractors pre-finance government contracts.
He said when contractors’ pre-finance projects and payments are delayed, it also delays projects’ completion and rising costs, adding that, the contractor subsequently suffers; a situation he observed, affects the economy.
He observed that the construction and building industry were the cornerstone and pillars of development and embraced the idea of the unification of Ghanaian contractors to the African Federation of Construction Contractors Association.
Mr. Bede Zedieng, the Northern Regional Minister assured the contractors that their demands would be forwarded to the appropriate quarters for redress and noted that the construction industry had contributed immensely to the nation building agenda, which must be promoted.
He urged them to form a united front that could withstand pressures from bigger rival groups, adding that, contractors must consider national interest and avoid building their companies around family lines.
Alhaji Yakubu Ziblim, Chief Director of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing complained of excessive use of import products by local contractors, a phenomenon he said, that does not promote the local industry and advised them to consider procuring their building materials locally.
He also complained that projects executed by local contractors were highly expensive compared to similar projects executed by NGOs, indicating that, the ministry would soon standardize all projects with specification and cost to avoid higher expenditure.