Feature Article of Sunday, 14 October 2012
Columnist: Agbo, Daniel Nicolas Ats
President Mahama To Investigate Francis Degbe Of Ghana Road Fund For Incompetence And Corruption
For the past two years a number of small scale contractors have approached me with one complaint or the other regarding payment for projects they have executed to the republic of Ghana for the past two years but have still not been paid. Some of these contractors have died in the process through heart attacks. Most of these contractors have secured loans from various sources (friends, families, banks etc) and because they could not bear the shame of being disgraced by these lenders in public or for fear of arrest by the Ghana Police, always go to bed thinking about their debts and in the process get heart attack and die. I have witnessed this on a number of occasions and I think the time is now ripe for the presidency to investigate those who administer payments to these government projects and make sure they pay innocent contractors on time without asking for percentages on their payments etc.
Francis Degbe has surrounded himself with corrupt officials and friends who work tirelessly for him to cheat innocent contractors. They often ask contractors to pay between 5-20% of their contract sum to them in order to release their payments early. As a result those contractors who do not have the means to pay these bribes have become victims. The Ghana road fund is owing a lot of innocent contractors a lot of money from 2010 to date. According to these contractors some official at the Ghana road fund have told them that they will never receive their payments if they don’t agree to pay these bribes.
We are currently investigating the Ghana road fund and very soon we will be handing over audio and video recordings to the various broadcasting houses so that the good people of Ghana will know the sort of people managing the affairs of our dear nation.
I think it is very wrong for good minded Ghanaians who wanted to work and take care of their families to be punished in this manner. People have lost their properties and have lost their dignity just because Francis Degbe failed to sign their final cheque because they do not want to pay their tithe to him. Please note that these innocent contractors already have high interest rates on their loans which they are still servicing.
I am challenging President Mahama to investigate the Ghana Road Fund especially Francis Degbe. The investigators need to find out why some contractors who completed their works over two years ago has not yet been paid whiles those who completed their projects just a month or two ago have received payments. If President Mahama can do this then we will be convinced that he really stand for the truth and the people of Ghana. If not I will be very disappointed in him. It is hard time Francis Degbe is moved from the Ghana Road fund and another person who understands the importance of payments in construction is brought in to administer the Road fund. I do not think Francis Degbe understands the importance of cash flow in construction. He has killed so many contractors and construction companies because of his greed.
President Mahama I leave this matter in your capable hands and I hope a lot more contractors will love you should you take the necessary steps to stop the corruption at the Ghana Road fund headed by Francis Degbe. I want you to hear the cries of the contractors who have died and their families who are still struggling to make ends meet for no apparent reasons. They do not want to steal or commit crime. All they did is to borrow money to do various projects for mother Ghana and I think it is very wrong for Francis Degbe and his cronies to treat them in this manner.
God Help our dear nation.
Daniel Nicolas Atsu Agbo