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General News
Contractors appeal for payment 11/28/2007
Accra, Nov. 27, GNA - Mr. Joseph Twumasi-Mensah, National Chairman of the Association of Road Contractors (ASROC), Ghana, on Tuesday appealed to the government to facilitate payment for work executed by its members to enable them to pay for equipment bought through the National Investment Bank (NIB).

He said, apart from not being able to pay back their loans, delay in payment also affected their cash flow and disorganised their job schedules.

Mr. Twumasi-Mensah was speaking at the general meeting for members from all the 10 regions to discuss matters concerning the industry and the constraints facing the local contractors.

"Delay of payment is a cyclical problem - it worsens at the end of tenure of office of governments and improves at the beginning of tenure of office of another and worsens again, getting to the end of their tenure of office," he said.

He announced that the Road Agencies and the Road Fund Secretariat owed contractors billions of cedis and appealed to the Minister of State for Transportation, Mr. Godfrey Bayon Tangu, and the Secretariat and Board of the Road Fund to expedite action on payment certificates received from the Road Agencies.

Mr. Tangu said the Association had an important role to play in ensuring the realisation of Government''s programme of attaining a middle-income status by 2015 and achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. He said the achievement of these benchmarks also tied in with the government''s development framework as enshrined in the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy.

"The provision of infrastructure especially trunk, urban and feeder roads is considered as the main vehicle of meeting the aspirations of our people and enhancing their quality of life," he said. He said the 2008 Budget statement and economic policy of the government emphasised the provision of roads, energy and water to enable the country to achieve a growth target of seven per cent by the end of that year.

"The achievement of the targets set under the budget is therefore dependent on how effective and efficient our stakeholders, especially our local contractors, are in contributing to the delivery of good and reliable roads and bridges."

Mr. Tangu said the Ministry acknowledged that the industry was operating within certain limitations and challenges and had in discussion with the leadership of the Association sought to address the pertinent issues.

Mr. Tangu mentioned the issue of reliable and adequate construction equipment, delayed payment, inadequate capacity of staff of the road agencies to supervise works, poor preparation of projects by road agencies, inadequate financial and supervisory staff and lack of supply of quarry equipment as some of the critical challenges, which affected their work.

"Most of these challenges have been discussed with your leadership and some levels of intervention made to resolve them but a lot more needs to be done to get the industry on an even keel," he added. On delayed payment, the Minister said records indicated that there were about 2,000 contractors of various classes and about 61 per cent of these contractors were in the A4B4 - A3B3 range with 50 per cent of the number in the A4B4 class.

Mr Tangu said these were the classes with lower equipment holding and inadequate management capacity and these classes of contractors faced the challenges of delayed payment for work executed, scarcity of construction material and management inadequacies. He announced that the Ministry, with the help of development partners conducted a study on the capacity of local construction industry and an action plan was prepared for implementation aimed at revitalising the industry for the common good.Source:

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