The Progressive Road Contractors Association and the Association of Road Contractors have announced their decision to abandon all government projects after over nine years of delayed payment.
The vice president of the Association of Road Contractors, Dan Agroh in an interview with Citi News said: “No maintenance will be going on and it will endanger everybody’s life; we all travel home at weekends for funerals and the dangers we go through are enough protestations from contractors.”
According to Mr. Agroh, as at the end of March this year, government “owed us GHC 180 million after works on over 68,000 kilometers of road”.
Earlier this month, contractors in the Upper West Region also announced they have abandoned all government projects in the region also due to delayed payments from government.
The two groups also called for an increase in the fuel levy.
Mr. Agroh told Citi News, over the last five years, they have been educated on the need to increase the levy in order to improve road maintenance.”
The major source of funding for the road fund is the levy on petroleum products mainly petrol and diesel which accounts for some 75% of total revenue into the fund.
The Vice President of the Association of Road Contractors, Dan Agroh told Citi News, members of the association will only rescind their decision when government settles its bills.
Meanwhile, the Roads and Highways Minister, Alhaji Aminu Sulemana has called for calm, promising government will deal with the situation.
“We have a backlog of maintenance work to do and because we don’t have adequate resources in the road fund” adding that “contractors will carry out works under the road fund and we are not able to pay them as quickly as they would have wished.”
Alhaji Sulemana stated that it is not possible for the contractors to lay down their tools because, “if you don’t work your business will go down ; they can’t say they won’t work. I don’t understand that aspect of their action and they work to pay themselves, they work as business entities.”
Source: Magdalene Larnyoh/citifmonline.com/Ghana