Roads and Highways Minister-designate, Kwasi Amoako-Attah says the start of the COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in the inability of the ministry to settle outstanding payments to road contractors.
Speaking during his vetting at the Parliament House today, February 16, 2021, the Roads and Highways Minister-designate, Mr. Amoako-Attah stated that the pandemic put a strain on the country and a large portion of Ghana’s revenue went into trying to manage it.
“There are outstanding payments and efforts are being made [to settle them], as and when monies are released to the Ministry. We must not lose track of the difficulties we all went through as a government and a nation with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Resources of the nation, in terms of revenue, went down and that also impacted negatively on our payment regime. We are hoping that this trend will change and contractors will see an improvement in the payment regime,” he added
Mr. Amoako-Attah further stated that there have been massive delays in finishing the payments for contractors, the ministry has been making efforts to finish them.
“I will not sit here and say all contractors in this country have been paid on schedule, even though the government, in the past four years, has made great effort to pay all contractors for their good work. It’s not in the interest of the government to delay payments because of the huge interest accrued as a result.”
“Contractors are supposed to be paid within 90 days, and great effort has been made from time to time to get that done. We’ve followed strict payment regimes and have been very fair in paying contractors. We do not discriminate in terms of payment.”
The Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry has complained that about $1.8 billion is needed to settle debts owed road contractors in the country.