We have not received any money – Chamber of Construction Industry tells Finance Minister

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, Emmanuel Cherry, has said he is unaware of any GH₵49 billion Finance Minister Dr Amin Adams claims has been released to contractors.

Amin Adams during a press briefing on Friday, said that the cedi’s current depreciation was partly due to payments of approximately GH₵49 billion to contractors and $400 million to Independent Power Producers (IPPs), thereby feeding a speculative dollar accumulation.

“We have paid contractors.

I want to say that the complaints of no money and no money, and no money, we don’t hear that anymore because we have paid and paid contractors.

Same time last year, we did GH₵41 billion and so this demonstrates there’s a lot of cedi liquidity in the market and we have seen some people looking for US dollars to buy with the cedis that we have put out there.

“And so these are some of the reasons including the payment to IPPs (Independent Power Producers).

You will recall that we started negotiating with them as a result of which we had to make a bullet, one-off payment amounting to some $400 million and so they all put pressure on the cedi,” Dr Adam said.

However, Mr Cherry says as far as he was aware, no such amount had been issued to the chamber for any construction work.

He insisted that the Finance Minister’s claim came as a shock to him.

“In the roads and the building sector, if we should lump together the amount the minister has mentioned now, I don’t know where exactly he is getting his figures from.

So it is something that has hit us as a shock and a surprise,” he said on Joy FM’s Top Story on May 24.

The CEO explained that the chamber was unaware of the said amount, adding that they would investigate the matter.

“But as industry players we are also bent on doing our further checks into the books and to find out what exactly is the minster driving to.

Because if it is about roads and that of building it is very outrageous for us to say that the Minister of Finance will come out and dangle these figures into the public space.”

Mr Cherry added that if the minister’s claim was true, contractors would still be on site.

“If the minister claims that such an amount of money has been paid to the contractors then why are contractors not on site?

Cocobod has paid some GH₵1 billion this month and we are hoping that they will continue.

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