Contractors give gov’t two-week ultimatum to pay arrears

cediThe Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ACCECG) has issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to pay arrears owed its members.

The Association said it would resort to court if government failed to pay all outstanding certificates, covering contractors’ claims for work done under the GETFund school projects by the end of September.

The Association also asked government to immediately clarify the use of proceeds from the EUROBOND facility, which contractors suspected was solely being used for the benefit of Chinese and foreign-based contractors.

It said it was unfortunate that in spite of its promise to halt the award of new contracts till existing arrears were settled, government had gone against its word to award new GETFund contracts to some contractors.

Mr Martins Nndro, President of the Association, who read a statement at a press conference on Tuesday, said members were, therefore, demanding that government paid interest on delayed payments with reference to the Public Procurement Act (PPA) standard tender document for small works, conditions of contract (clause 43.1).

Mr Nndro said based on the details of the PPA, government must honour their claims on ‘‘interest on delayed payments” promptly so as to mitigate the losses so far incurred through the long delay.

Failure on the part of government to meet their demands shall leave the contractors with no alternative than to go to the courts to claim all monies due them with interest, he said.

Mr Nndro said the decision was taken at the end of their National Executive meeting last week after listening to the concerns and plight of its members as a result of delayed reimbursement of pre-financed contracts they had executed.

According to him, although the National Executive of the Association had tried to contact government through institutions such as the Ministry of Finance, the GETFund and the President’s Office, it had not received any feedback.

He said the Association was unhappy about the lack of dialogue and stressed that as much as it appreciated the financial challenges of the government, “government business must go on,” and that one year was enough time for the current national administration to organise itself for the governing task ahead.

Mr Nndro said it was, therefore, unacceptable that while other sectors of the economy seemed to be moving on, the construction sector, which was an important contributor to the Gross Domestic Product of the economy, was left to suffer unduly.

“Presently, there are cries all over the country that there is no money in the system,” he said and that it was obvious that the contribution of contractors affected major areas of the economy such as sales and employment.

Mr Nndro said the long delay in payment for work executed did not only result in the suspension of those projects for lack of funds but also heightened the unemployment situation as a result the massive lay-off of workers.

“Government pays high cost on delayed projects as a result of increase in prices in materials over the period”, he said.

He said contractors also suffered a lot in meeting their financial obligations to the banks, families, material creditors and in running their business.

Mr Nndro called on government to plan its infrastructure delivery alongside the financial obligation in order to forestall the usual unprecedented long delays in payments to contractors.

Source: GNA

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