ROAD contractors in the country are owed more than GH¢850 million as a result of works they executed last year, the National Treasurer of the Association of Road Contractors, Ghana, Mr Kwasi Dankyi, has disclosed.
He said the amount remained unpaid from contracts awarded members under the Kufuor administration due to the award of contracts that exceeded the government’s projected expenditure.
He has, therefore, appealed to the new government to expedite the process of payment of the money.
Mr Dankyi, who made this known at the first general meeting of the Brong Ahafo Regional branch of the association in Sunyani, has, therefore, urged the government to ensure that it awards contracts according to its expenditure to avoid the undue delay in payment for jobs duly executed.
He said the debts, some of which were overdue for payment for over six months now, had created a lot of financial burden for local contractors and if not honoured could push many of them out of business.
Mr Dankyi also bemoaned the award of major contracts by the previous government to foreign firms contrary to its policy of giving such contracts to indigenous firms to build their capacity.
He noted that during the electioneering the association met with the various political parties and their leadership to tell them their vision for the road construction industry and expressed the hope that the new government under President J.E.A. Mills would fulfil all the pledges he made during their meeting with him.
He disclosed further that the association had put in place measures to enhance the capacity of its members and in view of that the association had secured a $570,357 fund to prepare a comprehensive database for its members in all the 10 regions of the country to enhance their work.
He said the association would also organise training workshops on capacity building on contract administration and tendering and bidding processes so that members could put in tenders for contracts below the price index.
Besides, Mr Dankyi said, the association would also train its members on site operation so as to reduce unnecessary cost when executing their contracts.
He stated that the association had sought the assistance of J.A. Plant Pool in Accra to establish an equipment pool to help local contractors to hire equipment for their jobs.