Road Contractors Threaten To Abandon Projects

Joseph Ebo Hewton
Members of the Association of Road Contractors (ASROC) Ghana and the Progressive Road Contractors Association (PROCA) cannot fathom why Government has failed to pay them for maintenance works they carried out for the country for 18 months.

The aggrieved members of the associations, who organized a joint press conference yesterday in Accra, claimed Government owed them a total amount of GH¢184 million.

Calling for the immediate payment of the money, the contractors noted that if Government fails to address their concerns, they would abandon all road projects across the country indefinitely.

They said government, for more than a year, had adopted delayed tactics in settling them for numerous road projects they undertook, adding that that had affected their operations and collapsed the business of some of their members.

‘The situation is getting worse by the day. To date Government is owing contractors to the tune of GH¢184 million and our businesses are collapsing. As a result, most contractors have abandoned their sites or are working at a very slow pace,’ they said.

ASROC and PROCA also appealed to Government to increase the petroleum levy from six percent to about 10 percent.

They indicated that local contractors across the country were unable to pay their workers due to the development.

Also some of them have had to pay their workers with bank loans at high interest rates.

The contractors noted that the development had led to the neglect of a total of 68,000 kilometers of roads.

Joseph Ebo Hewton, National Chairman of ASROC and Joana Adjei, National President of PROCA, addressing the media on behalf of their outfits, claimed the Road Fund had been exhausted.

They alleged that the Ministry of Finance had intentionally refused to transfer funds into the Road Fund.

Mr. Hewton noted that they made several attempts to meet the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, to discuss the settlement of the debt, among others,  but the Minister allegedly refused to meet them.

Pranks by Government
They indicated that to help lessen their plight, contractors applied for loans from banks and  discount houses using their unpaid certificates, also known as ‘Letters of Guarantees’ as collateral but the Attorney-General and the Minister of Justice last year decided to put a stop to the practice.

To this end, they urged the AG to rescind her decision ‘in order not to totally collapse the construction sector.’

  By Melvin Tarlue

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