The Roads and Highways Minister, Kwesi Amoako Atta, says over 65 percent of contractors owed by government have in the last two months been paid.
He says contractors who are however yet to be paid will see the monies hit their accounts by the close of this week.
Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people of Ga South in the Greater Accra Region as part of the President’s tour of the Region, Mr. Amoako-Atta, said the payments have motivated the contractors to go back to site.
“Because of our determination to make 2020 a year of roads, the President directed two months ago, that an amount of GHS 2.2 billion should be used to pay all contractors across the country so that, everybody will go back to work. As I speak with you now, over 60 to 65 percent of them have received payment. We are paying and we will continue to pay,” he said.
The government in efforts to address the poor nature of roads in major parts of the country has declared 2020, as the “year of roads”.
The Finance Minister has said, the government will largely focus and prioritise road projects to improve infrastructure in that sector and bring an end to the cries of Ghanaians for better roads.
He has also promised that all debts owed road contractors will be paid off.
Gov't releases 'unprecedented' GHc2.2bn to settle road contractors
“Mr. Speaker, this is why we are going to focus more on fixing our roads across the country in 2020 and beyond. To get the road sector moving and contractors back to work, the government will pay 80% of all contractors,” Ken Ofori-Atta said.
The government had earlier asked all road contractors to return to site and ensure the successful completion of all their abandoned road projects.
This came after the Ministry of Roads and Highways acquired some GH₵2.2 billion to pay all debts owed road contractors.
GH¢1 billion of the money was to be used to pay contractors funded through the consolidated fund, while the GH¢1.2 billion will be paid into the Road Fund to settle other debts.
Gov't must show commitment to paying contractors – Chamber of Construction Industry
Chairman of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, Emmanuel Martey, has urged the government of Ghana to make provisions for the payment of contractors who have been awarded contracts to build or fix particular roads in the country.
According to him, this is to prevent the continuous situation where road contractors do not receive their monies during or after road projects, hence abandoning the project midway or being left stranded after its completion.
Mr. Martey advised the government to stop the practice of not paying road contractors after they have fulfilled their part of the contract.
“Coming from where we are now in the past we would urge that actual provisions should be made for the payment of the things listed in the budget so that we would avoid the situation where the roads will be constructed and then we don't have money to pay for. That is where we are coming from. So we have always been advising the government that if you set yourself to do Road A, then plans must be set aside to be able to execute and pay for the project when it is finalized,” he said.