Business News of Monday, 12 November 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Contractors Cry Over Unpaid Arrears

The Brong Ahafo Regional Association of Single Man Contractors (SMCs) has made a passionate appeal to the government to expedite action on the payment of their arrears.

The group, comprising about 1,200 contractors that have employed about 4,000 workers, said the failure of the Roads Fund to pay them since November 2011 had negatively affected operations and families.

Speaking to DAILY GUIDE on behalf of members of the association, the Regional Chairman of the Association, Nana Boakye Agyemang said members of the association secured bank loans to fund the projects.

He explained that SMCs were responsible for weeding on the shoulders of all highways and feeder roads in the region.

Nana Agyemang said the Roads Fund, which is responsible for the project, had failed to pay them even though they honoured their part of the contract.

He indicated that the members were informed that their counterparts in the other regions had been paid their arrears and wondered why those in the Brong Ahafo region should be given a raw deal.

The association therefore appealed to the government to take notice of the unfortunate development and take immediate steps to address their concerns to avoid incurring their wrath.

“We are watching events and if nothing is done about it we will be compelled to hit the streets to register our displeasure, something we wouldn’t like to do since we are in an election year because it will put the government in a bad light,” the chairman warned.

In his view, government’s failure to pay the contractors had partially contributed to several road accidents over the past year since some of the contractors had abandoned the projects due to the lack of funds to pay their workers.

This, he stated, had led to an increase in weeds along the highways and the feeder roads affecting the visibility of drivers.

They said they were aware that the current administration increased the road tolls by more than 300% to cater for their activities, but to their surprise the Roads Fund refused to pay them.