Business News of Wednesday, 7 November 2018
Unpaid contractors of the Ghana Education Trust fund (GETFund) are calling on the government to make provision for their arrears in the 2019 budget. The contractors, who have pre-financed and raised buildings in various schools in the country say they have not been paid since 2016.
In an interview, with Citi News, Secretary for the Association of Conscientious Public Sector Contractors, Samuel Ofori Kumah, said government had failed to fulfill its promise of settling all arrears.
“The promises keep coming and coming but one thing we know from GETFund is that there is not a budget paid to contractors who have built those schools since 2016, and now that we are very much aware that the budget is going to be read soon; we have to remind the Ministry of Education that we have still not been paid and it will be good we factor it into the budget which is going to be read.”
Conscientious Public Sector Contractors association members, had earlier threatened to sue government over their unpaid salaries.
The contractors say they are yet to be paid for work done in schools since 2016.
Few weeks ago, at the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, some GETFund contractors undertaking various projects also abandoned the projects over the non-payment of their salaries.
The government has been aware of the indebtedness to contractors with even the President assuring that all debts will be cleared quickly.
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President Akufo-Addo during his media encounter to mark his first year in office had said that his government had settled most of the arrears owed contractors which were accumulated under the previous administration.
“I’m being urged to pay contractors, I’m paying them. In 2017, nearly one billion cedis of which the government of Ghana provided three hundred odd million and the Road Fund provided some 660 million of the 1.6 billion owed road contractors was cleared. In January this year, we have dispersed 125 million out of the remainder of 600 million to the contractors,” Nana Addo said.
“Additionally, we have paid 826 million of the 1.2 billion loan contracted by the previous administration for which the Road Fund was used as collateral. It is important to note that all these debts were accrued under the previous administration. I will also point out that much of the statutory arrears that we met have been cleared,” the President said.
Daniel Tanoh, the head of the contractors at the time responded by saying many of the claims that had been submitted for payment had not been honoured.