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General News of Monday, 25 February 2008

Source: The Chronicle

Wereko-Brobbey Fails To Pay Ghana@50 Contractors

Information reaching the Upper East Regional office of The Chronicle indicates that all the 25 contractors in the regional capitals, who were awarded contracts to put up Jubilee toilet facilities for the country’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, have still not been paid. The contracts were awarded on November 11, 2006.

One of the contractors, Mr. Joe Ayamga who was awarded to construct the Bolgatanga Municipal Jubilee Toilet Facility, told this paper that he and his colleagues all over the country were given 8 weeks to complete the projects. He said they were able to execute the projects within the stipulated period.

The paper had gathered that, out of the 754, 785, 396.25 old cedis due each contractor upon completion of work, only 230 million cedis was paid to each one of them in December 2006, as mobilization by the Ghana@50 Secretariat.

The Secretariat earmarked an initial amount of $20, 000,000 for the Golden Jubilee celebrations. An additional $ 11,000,000 was again requested by the secretariat. This generated heated debate on the floor of parliament among the majority and minority groups before the house approved it.

These amounts were meant to include these toilet facilities and other projects that were to be executed for the purposes of the Jubilee celebrations.

A letter dated May 21, 2007, and signed by the Chief Executive of Ghana @50 Secretariat, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby and addressed to all contractors, suppliers and service providers for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, states; “We wish to express our profound apologies to you for the delay in the payment of your fees and expenses for the work that you carried out as part of the events and activities which marked Ghana’s Golden Jubilee Activities.

We wish to assure you that the entire amount due you, including all interests incurred as a result of delay in payment shall be paid in full before the end of June 2007. Please note that those who wish to make claims for interest charges shall be required to provide evidence from the facilitating financial institution in respect of all the charges that have been accrued as a result of our failure to pay you on time”.

Deadline of June 2007. All frantic efforts by the contractors to seek their money have been unsuccessful. Mr. Ayamga alleged that he had been threatened by his workers and suppliers for non-payment or settlement of what was due them. According to him, some of his workers had to withdraw their children from school because they could not afford to pay their school fees. It has also impeded their finances to executing other contracts.

When the Bolgatanga Municipal Engineer, Mr. Gbagbo was reached for comments, he declined. When this reporter contacted the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive and Municipal Coordinating Director, Messrs Isaac Nsoh Amoah and P.K Kuupol respectively, they said they did not have any fair idea about the procedures and modalities in the award of both Jubilee Parks and toilet facilities. They said everything was done by Ghana @ 50 Secretariat at the national level. Mr. Amoah admitted that, Mr. Ayamga’s workers dragged him (Ayamga) to his (Amoah’s) office for nonpayment of their money. The MCE said he intervened and settled it by explaining to the workers that the Secretariat had not paid the contractors.

Mr. Ayamga said his letter to the Chief Executive of the Secretariat, asking for payment of his certificates had fallen on deaf ears. He has therefore appealed to the President, J.A Kufour to use his good offices to salvage the situation. Currently, the facility in Bolgatanga had been completed waiting for the subcontractor to install toilet accessories, but work in the other regions has come to a halt because funds have not been released to them. The projects were under the general supervision of Messrs Osei Kufuor, Shone and Partners, and supervised at the regional level by the Municipal Engineer.

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