Former president John Mahama has given his word to contractors saying he will pay them fully if he comes to power, adding they should return to their sites once they hear the announcement about his victory.
The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is in a close contest with incumbent Nana Akufo-Addo in the general elections slated for December 7, 2020.
In a meeting with some road contractors recently, Mr. Mahama promised to clear all their debt since the current government has failed to see to their plight although they play a critical role in nation development.
“We are going to send you back to work; as long as your jobs have not been terminated, when you hear I have won the election just go and start working again and we can come to an arrangement to pay you. Government owes you and government must pay you; you did legitimate work and government must pay you. With me as President, I will honor your contracts and make sure that what has been owed you, in some instances, for four years would be paid.
“The last time somebody’s certificate was paid was in 2016; but it is a debt government owes and government must pay and when we come we will make arrangements to pay you the arrears that you are owed and we will put you back to work,” Mr. Mahama told the contractors.
“We are losing a lot of our members because of the debt they owe. We had a meeting at the Conference center where all the relevant ministers were there. We were promised that GHȼ1 billion out of the GHȼ2.2 billion debt owed contractors was ready to be paid but many of us have not received the payment,” Mr. Steven Atachie, a contractor said.
“Some of us were asked to stop work for investigation to go on into our contracts. We are still waiting for the results so that we go back and continue the work. We have been home and nothing seem to be going on but we had invested in these contracts. I have a loan to pay and how can I do it when I am home,” another contractor, Alhaji Mbia Nuhu said.
Mr. Mahama replied: “All the projects we did, all the roads and interchange; everything, the new Kumasi airport, Terminal 3 all those things we did with 54 billion cedis. Today in three and a half years, 140 billion cedis has been spent and they say they can’t pay you 2 billion; it is deliberate, this government does not intend to pay you. And so, my brothers and sisters, it is obvious that the decision not to pay you is political; I cannot ascribe any reason to it because they have a mistaken believe that everybody who worked under John Mahama and NDC must be politically affiliated.”