A group calling itself First Contractors Association is asking government to come clear on its arrangement with Ghana First Company Limited to award a contract for the construction of toilet facilities across the country under the Clean Ghana project.
The contractors, who claim to have paid two per cent of the contract sum before getting the deals in 2017, say they are yet to be paid by the company.
Some of the contractors who spoke to Citi News said the government must immediately instruct Ghana First Company Limited to pay them their monies in order for them to complete the toilet projects, which will help address the challenge of open defecation in the country.
“He told us openly that he doesn't have the financial capacity to pay us. If you live in a country where people don't have the financial capacity to pay are allowed to enter PPP arrangements with government and it gets to the point of payment and they tell you this to your face, it puts a lot of doubt on whatever agreement has gone on between Ghana First and the government. This is giving a lot of frustration to the contractors, most of whom acquired the money through banks with commercial interest rates,” one of the contractors said.
Another contractor also told Citi News that the government must explain the details of its contract with the company.
“We want to find out from the government what agreement did they sign with Ghana first, what search did they do before introducing Ghana first to private individuals and district assemblies,” he said.
This is not the first time the contractors are raising issues about the company’s indebtedness to them.Contractors demand payment
Some 130 contractors in August 2019 called for a forensic audit into the establishment of the Ghana First company, indicating they suspect they were operating a scam.
According to the Contractors, the Company deceived them to believe that it had adequate funds to make 60% of the contract sum after a collaborative visit which has been done, however not a penny has been paid to them since executing their part of the contract a year on.
But the company, through its lawyer in September 2019, challenged the contractors to submit progress of work certificates for payment.
Their lawyer, Charles Bentum said the agreement between the company and the contractors was clear on terms of payment. According to him, both parties agreed that payment will be made after full completion of the entire project in conformity with contractual terms. Quoting relevant portions of the agreement, Mr Bentum said Clause 5 among other things stated as follows, “that the Contractor agrees that the Contract is a Turn-Key Project and that the Contractor shall be paid only upon full completion and hand over of the entire project.” Clean Ghana project
The Ghana First company, under a Public-Private Partnership with the government, is constructing 10,000 units of modern automated toilet facilities across all Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts around the country in a Clean Ghana project. The company subsequently engaged other contractors to work on the project in order to meet project timelines.