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Local contractors who were billed by government to construct classroom blocks, market stores, toilets, durbar grounds, police posts and other facilities as part of the $1 million per constituency promise have threatened to take drastic action if steps are not taken by the government to pay them within a week.
According to the contractors efforts to get government to pay them after being forced to take bank loans with interest to build the facilities have fallen on deaf ears.
The contractors claim some of their members have died as a result of shock, frustration and harassment from their creditors and want government to pay them for projects executed and certified with immediate effect else they will lock up the school and other facilities.
The Association of local contractors with about 500 members said government owe them an estimated amount of GHC500 million adding that lack of payments to its members is impacting negatively on their families.
“Contractors have struggled to meet their financial obligations to the banks, families and material creditors, among others” they added.
Speaking to Kumasi based OTECNEWS in an interview on Monday, Mr James Gyan, the Chairman for the angry local contractors association said 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.
He served notice that if the government did not settle the debts it owned them by Monday, January 18, 2021, they will be forced to act saying, “We will lock up the school facilities built with the sweat of our toil, for which some of our members’ lives have been cut short. In addition, we will hit all the regional capitals with earth-shaking demonstrations to let the world know our precarious lot.”
“What we are saying now is that we are giving government one week – which is January 18. Government should not allow it to get to that point. We are informing government that starting from Monday, January 18, they will see us closing down the schools we have built but have not been paid for work done, yet, such schools are being used. This is the starting point to prove to government that they owe contractors and the contractors need their money.”
Mr Gyan said, in a bid to show their displeasure of the way they are being treated, they have indicated that they will be forced to take a bold step to lock up schools to show if that is what is going to get governments attention to pay them.
He revealed that some of the projects they undertook were Construction of 10 and 16 seater toilet facilities, Market Stores, Durbar grounds, Police Post, 3 and 6 unit Classroom blocks, construction of green grass pitches, boreholes etc all under $1 Million Per Constituency Projects without any payment made by government to that effect in which some of the facilities are been used by various institutions making it difficult to defend themselves that they have not been paid by government hence the warning.
“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 James Gyan said the arrears have not been settled over a year since the submission of certificates for work done and some of these Financial Institutions heard the contractors have been paid by Government last December and started harassing us for their monies.
The Chairman – James Gyan 0244942292
Vice-Chairman – Nana Agyeman 0548305188
Secretary Mr Owusu Isaac – 0241712554