The Association of Road Contractors Ghana (ASROC Ghana) has rejected a directive from the government asking them to return to construction sites they abandoned due to delays in the release of payments.
When asked whether contractors will return to their respective work sites, the National Vice Chairman of the ASROC Ghana, Stephen Atatsi asked, “to do what?”
According to him, if the government is not holding its end of the bargain to pay them, then there’s no need for the contractors to return to their project sites.
“I have given you a bill, and you have accepted the bill, but you are not doing what is expected. Look, even one activity is worth more than that ¢800 million they are talking about. Do you know how much one kilometre of bitumen costs?”Stephen Atatsi
The ARC Ghana’s rejection comes at a time when the Minister of Roads announced that the Finance Ministry had released GH¢800 million to be given to contractors in order to defray unsettled arrears.
During a meeting with the chiefs and people of the Anyaa-Sowutuom Constituency, the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Stephen Pambiin Jalulah, claimed that some of the contractors failed to show up at the construction sites despite the payment of monies owed them.
However, in response to this claim, the National Vice Chairman of the ASROC Ghana revealed that no monies have been paid to any contractor.
He further disclosed that none of their members have been engaged during any of the alleged payment procedures.
“Gh¢800 million they paid to whom? They should come out with the contractors they have paid the money to. So, it is never true.”Stephen Atatsi
Mr. Atatsi explained that in construction, ancillary workers are also employed. And so, if it is these people that government had made payments to, it should inform the public accordingly and not tell them otherwise.
“We have categories in the construction business. We have the small-scale people who de-silt the gutters and cut the grass and those other small jobs. So, if it is those people they have paid, let them say it and let the public know”.Stephen Atatsi
Return to construction sites
Even though the Deputy Roads Minister admitted that the progress of major road projects which began earlier in 2020 had been brought to a halt due to the delay in payment of contractors, he noted that the inauguration of the Road Fund Board, and the subsequent release of the ¢800 million by government, meant that work was to start up again.
Therefore, Mr. Philip Jalulah directed all the contractors who have left their sites because they have not received payments to go back to their construction sites immediately.
“From the beginning of the year, payment to contractors was not forthcoming. But as we speak now, the government is paying and for that matter, the road fund board has been set up about one month ago and has also started payment to contractors.”Stephen Pambiin Jalulah
“All the contractors who have left the site due to nonpayment should be back to site any moment from now.”Stephen Pambiin Jalulah
Contractors to lose their contracts
During the meeting, the Deputy Road Minister cautioned that contractors who fail to return to their respective project sites after payments has been made will lose their entire contracts.
“And let me add that if any contractor doesn’t come to the site after receiving payment, the engineers within the urban roads will write them warning letter, and if they fail to come, their contracts will be terminated”.Stephen Pambiin Jalulah
Read Also:Community Mining is not Galamsey– Mireku Duker Clarifies
Leave a Reply