The Concerned Cocoa Road Contractors Association in Ghana has issued a strong warning to government to immediately act and release funds to settle the pending debt it owes cocoa contractors.
According to the Association, members can no longer wait for government to secure funds from the IMF before cocoa road contractors are paid.
Speaking in an interview with the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Construction and Industry, Mr. Emmanuel Cherry, he revealed that the minister designate for Roads and Highways Hon. Kwasi Amoako Atta has worsened the plight of cocoa road contractors as a result of the promise he made that all cocoa road contractors will be paid before the close of last year, saying now employees are on the neck of contractors thinking that the promise made by the minister has been fulfilled and the contractors don’t want to pay them.
Mr. Emmanuel Cherry further stated that there has been so many engagements and promises made to the leadership of the chamber but have not yielded any positive result leaving them in a state of confusion and are unable to cope with the economic hardship in the country.
He therefore warned government by saying ” authorities should be proactive especially the road fund and do the needful to pay contractors, we can’t wait for IMF money before they come and pay contractors, there is every deduction that is ongoing, we buy fuel on daily bases, we do DVLA renewal on daily bases and there are other deductions like statutory deductions that is ongoing that rake into their account what are they doing with that money”.
Additionally he partly blamed the government for it failure to honour the promise made regarding the E- levy, he said the chamber demands accountability on the E-levy in respect to servicing the debt of contractors.
According to him, the contractors are given government up to the mid of April and if nothing tangible happens they will go unblock on a legal tassel with government.
On the other hand, the Vice Chairman of the Chamber for Construction and Industry, MD JILCON Construction and Petroleum and Aburi Atwiasin Kyedomhene Nana Opare Kwarfo said, even though somewhere 20th December, 2022 cocoboad paid between 10 to 15% of the debt owe the contractors, but leadership of the chamber was assured that early this year the rest of the outstanding debt will be paid in full.
He said “it is unfortunate that we find ourselves here, they met us today because of the pending debt since it has been three months this year and they have not heard anything from authorities, infact us leaders of the chamber we are also worried because when things are not going on well for your children as a leader you definitely become worried, they have given we the leadership a month to engage the right authority to get their concerns addressed before they take the next action”.
He therefore appealed to the government and cocoboad to swiftly intervene so that the concerns of the cocoa road contractors are addressed.