Barely a day to the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, is urging the government to ensure that plans for the settlement of debts owed its members as far back as 2016 are captured in the policy document.
The chamber argues that the delayed payments adversely affected the “second year of roads” agenda announced by the government.
One of the major highlights of President Akufo-Addo’s inaugural speech on Thursday, January 7, 2021, was his announcement of the second year of roads.
This was an update to an earlier declaration of 2020, as the “Year of Roads” in a quest to address the poor road networks in parts of the country.
Many welcomed the news as the country witnessed record levels of demonstrations over poor road infrastructure.
Stakeholders like the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry lauded the government’s move and asked for a seat at the table to help make the vision a reality.
The Chamber had high expectations of the announcement but with just a few months to the end of the year, it appears the chamber is not too impressed.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, Emmanuel Cherry, told Citi Business News that “The question is that, [regarding] last year’s budget appropriation, have we been able to meet the appropriation, the disbursement, how far has it gone? These are some of the issues we have in here that we need to interrogate.”
“Meanwhile the communities are agitating because the expectations were very high based on the declaration made by the president that 2021 is a year progress. But your guess is as good as mine. Have we been able to realize the year of progress? The question needs to be answered by all of us as a country.”
He insisted the narrative can’t be repeated in the coming year.
He thus called on the government to do all it can to ensure contractors are paid monies due them.
“Most contractors have not received a dime this year. No payment has been made. Meanwhile, you touted it as a year of roads. In fact, the expectations of contractors were not met. But we were hoping that 2021 will be something good. So, therefore, we are anticipating the provision of IPC’s that must be discounted. There must be a provision for that in the budget.”