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Business News Wed, 18 Sep 2013

Building contractors warn government

Members of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana have given government a two-week ultimatum to pay all monies it owes them or face their wrath.

The Association expressed its preparedness to take government to court in order to claim the monies with interest. Martins Nnuro, National President of the Association, who made this known at a press conference in Accra, said the protracted delay in the payment of the monies by government has resulted in the neglect of projects at the various sites.

“Workers have been laid off because we can’t pay them. The situation has also brought untold hardship on us, resulting in some losing their lives,” he added. Mr. Nnuro said the arrears have not been settled over a year since the submission of certificates for work done.

He warned that “payment of all outstanding certificates covering claims for work done under the GETFund School projects must be effected by the end of September, 2013 or we go to court.” Mr Nnuro said government must pay interest on the arrears in order to mitigate loses contractors have incurred as a result of the delay.

According to him, PPA Standard Tender Document for small works, conditions of contract (clause 43.1) states that “the Employer shall pay the contractors the amounts certified by the Project Manager within 28 days of the date of each certificate. If the employer makes a late payment, the contractors shall be paid interest on the late payment in the next payment.”

Mr Nnuro said contractors have struggled to meet their financial obligations to the banks, families and material creditors, among others. He noted that the construction sector contributes about 10 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that “this huge contribution calls for attention to the sector.”

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Complaints all over the country that there is no money in the system is due to the fact that monies owed contractors whose sector contribute significantly to the GDP are not being paid hence affecting the economy, Mr Nnuro said.

He urged government to plan its infrastructure delivery alongside the financial obligation in order to forestall unprecedented delay in the payments of monies to contractors. The Association, Mr Nnuro said, had observed that new contracts are being awarded even though government had announced that it would not award new contracts until it clears all arrears due them.

He therefore urged government to launch investigation into the matter to avert problems. Mr Nnuro said there are number of abandoned school buildings scattered all over the country that need to be revived and completed, adding that government must put measures in place to address the problems.

He called on government to immediately clarify the use of proceeds from the Eurobond facility, which the contractors suspect is being used to satisfy the demands of Chinese and foreign-based contractors.

Source: Daily Guide
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