Contractors have besieged the Roads and Highways Ministry, demanding the payment for completed road and drainage works.

“We are here to see the Minister,” a leader of the group told JoyNews’ Matilda Wemegah. She reports some of the leaders have been locked in a meeting with the minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta.

He estimates about 100 contractors had converged, lined up along the walkways and clustering under canopies.

Several of them say, government has racked up debts since 2016.  One of the contractors, in red armbands, played a beat to his chant ‘Akyem mafia!, Akyem caucus!” referring to the President and his kinsfolk in government.

A contractor explained to Matilda Wemegah, after financing the construction of the Kasoa storm drains in the Central region, he has not received a penny for the work done in 2015.

“Madam, to be honest with you, I just can’t explain how we are living. It is just by grace….some of our members because of shock they are dying”, one of them told the reporter.

Photo: A section of contractors waiting for a response from the ministry

Another, Victor, said he did pothole patching, drainage works as far back as 2006. The contractor who said he employs 10 workers recalled, payment for work was smooth. “Before you see, they credit your account”, he said.

But under the Akufo-Addo government, getting paid for work done has been excruciating pain. He said he patched potholes in La Nkwantanang in Madina in 2015 and 2016 and also did some work in the Central region.

He said has not been paid for these works. Life has become hard, he says, explaining he can no longer fuel his car and has resorted to public transport. Some of the contractors say despite providing documents to prove work done, they have still not been paid.

The contractors were unwilling to state the amount owed them. They say they keep hearing the Roads and Highways minister claiming government has released monies to pay contractors.

But checks show none of them has been paid. 

A 2018  report by the Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport has shown that government still owes road contractors more than GH¢3.69billion from projects financed from the consolidated and road funds.

The report on Annual Budget Estimates of the Roads and Highways Ministry for 2019, released in December 2018, showed that government had paid GH¢2.2billion to clear part of the debt owed contractors, but a large part remains unpaid while interest accumulates on it.