Hon Kwasi Amoako Atta, Minister for Roads and Highways, has disclosed that government will clear most of the outstanding debts owed road contractors before the year ends.
Mr Amoako-Atta noted that in spite of the current economic challenges, government did not halt any road project and further assured that more investments would be channelled to the roads sector.
“Contractors of this country are doing a yeoman’s job despite all the difficulties, and I want to assure them that government will continue to work in their interest and all their outstanding payments from now onwards will be done from time to time.
“A chunk of outstanding (payments) are going to be effected before the end of the year and it will continue.”Ofori Atta
The Minister appealed to individuals in areas that were yet to have their roads repaired to remain calm as the government works to mobilise resources to expand the country’s road networks.
“The people deserve to have good roads. I appeal to all those who haven’t had their turn to be patient and calm”Amoako Atta
It could be recalled that the Association of Road Contractors lamented over government’s reluctance in settling debt owed them since 2018.
Members noted that the situation is really affecting their livelihoods and taking a toll on their health and businesses and rather frustrating.
Pay GH₵5bn Debt Owed Road Contractors
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has asked the government to ensure the payment of arrears owed to road contractors.
The Roads and Highways and Transport Committee of Parliament raised concerns over the Ministry of Roads’ high indebtedness of GH₵ 5.9 billion to contractors at the Ghana Road Fund Secretariat.
However, Parliament has approved an amount of over GH₵ 5, 295,359,626 for the services of the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the year 2023.
Contractors had in the past complained that their businesses were grinding to a halt due to the government’s indebtedness to them.
Ghanaians over the last few months have complained bitterly over the deteriorating nature of most roads in the country and some road projects which have been abandoned.
Despite some road projects progressing smoothly, several other roads have not received any facelift in the last few years, despite the government declaring 2021 as the year of roads.
As of 2020, the Chamber indicated that the government owed contractors about $1.8 billion the amount is a result of delayed payment and accumulation of interest on locked-up certificates.
Recently, a group called Joint Contractors Association threatened legal action against the government should it refuse to pay monies owed its members for works they have executed successfully.