12 June 2019

Ghana: Contractors Threaten to Lock Up 766 Public Schools ... If Govt Fails to Pay Them

The Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors and Conscientious Public Sector Contractors have threatened to lock up all 766 public school facilities built, if government fails to pay them for work executed.

The association has, therefore, given the government up to the end of June 26, 2019, to clear the more than GH₵800 million debts it owed members.

Speaking at a joint press conference yesterday in Accra, the president of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Prosper Y. Ledi, questioned the whereabouts of the $500 million loan secured by the government to pay them.

"The situation is aggravated anytime the president declares that he has directed the Minister of Finance to release money for the payment of contractors, and nothing comes out of it.

"In fact, in November 2018, the government secured a loan of $500 million ostensibly to pay off GETfund debt, among other things, however, only a handful of contractors were paid," he said.

Mr Ledi said members owed banks, as most of them borrowed the money from the financial institutions to build the schools and other infrastructure for the government.

He said although they had not been paid, it does not extricate or absolve them from their debt obligation, as some of the banks were relentlessly hounding them to their early grave.

"Indeed, some members had fallen ill, some have died because they could not afford the cure for their ailment. Others, whose houses and properties have been seized and have nowhere to go, have gone demented and prowling around like wraiths," he said.

The Chairman for the Association of Conscientious Public Sector Contractors, Bernard Azumah, disclosed that after several petitions to state institutions such as Parliament and the Ministry of Education, their predicament had still not been addressed.

"We are convinced that the government has turned a deaf ear to our problem, we are compelled to flex our muscles as indispensable stakeholders in the development of our nation.

"We hereby serve a notice to the government that, if we are not paid by June 26, 2019, two weeks from now, we will lock up the school facilities built with our sweat," he said.

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