The Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, GREDA, is appealing to government to impress on banks to renegotiate loan agreements with its members due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Association, government’s measures aimed at containing the spread of the disease, has negatively affected the construction industry due to the high numbers of people required at construction sites on a daily basis.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the President of GREDA, Patrick Ebo Bonful, urged banks to be considerate and renegotiate interest payment on loans.
He stated that even though members of GREDA have been urged to take the first step to renegotiate the interest rates on loans, it will be prudent for government to meet the association and appeal to creditors to consider the current impact of the COVID-19 on the construction industry.
“Each individual company would have to speak to their bankers and renegotiate their facilities, because as it is, you have to observe the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, you have to close down construction and actually that is what has happened. If not, you have to scale down the number of people at your site significantly and that will affect completion date,” he added.
Mr. Bonful warned that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be underestimated since it will affect the very foundation of the construction industry that provides housing for the public.
He recalled that earlier recommendations for government to provide a fund for the construction sector to access cheap loans would have been timely if available now.
“We have not changed our recommendations. We have always asked for more than just stimulus,” he said.
He pointed out that the number of jobs that could be affected could also have a negative impact on the economy.
The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been huge, hitting sectors such as Aviation, hospitality and tourism very hard.
In Ghana, some hotels have already laid off casual workers due to low patronage, and are calling on government for s stimulus package to support businesses.
Car rental firms hit by impact of COVID-19 as workers are laid off
Some car rental dealers in Accra say they have also been affected. According to them, they have had to lay off some workers due to low patronage as more people are observing the social distancing protocol and limiting public gatherings and movements.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ghana
As at Wednesday March 23, 2020, Ghana had a total of 68 cases with three deaths.
Many of the new cases were confirmed among the 1,030 people who are under mandatory quarantine in the country after arriving at the Kotoka International Airport hours to the deadline for the closure of the country’s borders.