18 June 2019

The Association of Building and
Civil Engineering Contractors and Conscientious Public Sector Contractors have
threatened to lock up all 766 public school facilities built, if government
fails to pay them for work executed.

The association has, therefore,
given the government up to the end of June 26, 2019, to clear the more than
GH₵800 million debts it owed members.

The president of the Association
of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Prosper Y. Ledi, questioned the
whereabouts of the $500 million loan secured by the government to pay them.

“The situation is aggravated
anytime the president declares that he has directed the Minister of Finance to
release money for the payment of contractors, and nothing comes out of it.

“In fact, in November 2018,
the government secured a loan of $500 million ostensibly to pay off GET fund
debt, among other things, however, only a handful of contractors were
paid,” he said.

Ledi said members owed banks, as
most of them borrowed the money from the financial institutions to build the
schools and other infrastructure for the government.

He said although they had not
been paid, it does not extricate or absolve them from their debt obligation, as
some of the banks were relentlessly hounding them to their early grave.

“Indeed, some members had
fallen ill, some have died because they could not afford the cure for their
ailment. Others, whose houses and properties have been seized have nowhere to
go,” he said.

The Chairman for the Association
of Conscientious Public Sector Contractors, Bernard Azumah, disclosed that
after several petitions to state institutions such as Parliament and the
Ministry of Education, their predicament had still not been addressed.

“We are convinced that the government has turned a deaf ear to our problem. We hereby serve a notice to the government that, if we are not paid by June 26, 2019, we will lock up the school facilities built with our sweat,” he said.

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