The Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry has given the government a 14-day ultimatum to pay all outstanding debt owed its members.
The road contractors have threatened to demonstrate should their warning fall on deaf ears.
According to the Chamber, the government’s inability to pay them their due has led to the loss of jobs and properties used as collateral by its members for bank loans.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber Emmanuel Cherry, told Citi News all efforts to get the government to pay their monies have yielded no results.
“We are only trying to see how best we can let cool heads prevail. Our people are agitating, they have been calling for a demonstration for a while now. But we have managed to cool them down for some time. And when you talk of contractors demonstrating, it is not just any ordinary one you see on the streets. They are going to block the roads with heavy-duty machines among others. If you owe a contractor, the effect trickles down to all spheres.”
He said the leadership of the chamber will give contractors the green light to pursue their careers as they deem fit, should the government turn a blind eye to their concerns.
“As a chamber, we have decided to engage the government further. So we have given them a 14-day ultimatum, starting from today the 27th of October 2020 to come out with a roadmap on payment. If nothing is done about it, the leadership of the chamber will have no other option than to allow the contractors to go ahead with their planned demonstration.”
Contractors beg Nana Addo for arrears
A group called the Association of Conscientious Public Sector Contractors in April 2020 pleaded with the government to pay the long-standing arrears owed its members.
According to the contractors, the government owes them several sums of money for projects executed for government including GETFund but are yet to be paid.
The contractors stated that the payment of their monies will not only relieve them from their accrued debt but also extend a helping hand to vulnerable persons as the country collectivizes efforts in dealing with the global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease.
The contractors had in the past complained that their businesses were grinding to a halt due to the government’s indebtedness to them.
In an open letter to the President, the Association said: “Payment will enable us to pay our staff, our suppliers and even pay our statutory obligations. Apart from the multiplier and stimulative effect of such action, it will also help our members give a helping hand to the needy and vulnerable in our communities. It is no secret that contractors, like other businessmen, are called upon by members of our communities to support the unfortunate ones all the time. These times have made such requests much more frequent and urgent.”