Senior Minister says delay in paying contractors is unacceptable
The Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo has called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts, (MMDAs’), ensure that funds meant for projects are readily available before awarding contracts.
He said the situation where contractors who undertake government projects are not paid on time is unacceptable and does not ensure value for money.
Mr. Osafo Maafo said delay in payment has created a level of uncertainty in the pricing of projects.
He was speaking at a High level forum in Accra on Value for money in public infrastructure at the local level.
The Senior Minister explained that periodic changes in economic performance means pricing of contracts will vary.
He reiterated the need to ensure government gets value of money in all projects.
Mr. Osafo Maafo lamented the bureaucracy involved in releasing funds to contractors who undertake government projects. He said contractors end up inflating the cost of projects to cover delays in the payment period.
“The huge delays associated with the payment of contractors is unacceptable. Most of the quotations we get are loaded. This is because they (the contractors) borrow money from banks to do the work, and they know that they will not get paid for months. Assuming they load it (the pricing of the contracts) with six months delay, and you are delayed for a year of course you incur losses but if u re paid in 3 months you make gains. This is creating uncertainly in the pricing and value for money, therefore every government should look for the money first for in respect of certain projects.”
Head of Local Government service Ing. Dr. Nana Ato Arthur was not happy about the situation where engineers are not ready to be posted outside Greater Accra.
“Everybody in the service wants to work in Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions and even in the Central region they want to be in Kasoa because it’s close to Accra. So we find it difficult to post staff to the regions”
The maiden edition of the forum which focused on the role of technocrats was organised by the KNUST Alumni, Ministries chapter.