By Iddi Yire/Jesse Owusu Ampah, GNA
Accra, Oct. 11, GNA – Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance in-charge of Budget, has assured road contractors that monies owed them by the Government will be paid by the end of this month.
“Currently, plans are in place to complete most of the roads that you see unfinished and how are we going to do that? Road Fund is going to go ahead and pay every contractor that has interim payment certificates of one million Ghana cedis and below.”
“By the end of October, the Road Fund should have paid all contractors in that category, and the contractors in that category are about 82 per cent,” she said.
“So, once we pay the chunk of 82 per cent of the contractors, I believe we will see a lot of activities on our roads and also economically we will see a lot of activities as well.”
Mrs Osei-Asare gave the assurance in Accra when she delivered the annual public lecture of the School of Public Service and Governance (SPSG), Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
Speaking on the topic: “The State of the Ghanaian Economy,” she said contractors whose contract amount due for payment was above one million Ghana cedis, would have 40 per cent of it paid.
She explained that the payments was to enable the contractors to go back and start work.
“Every certificate that is below five million Ghana cedis, Government of Ghana is going to go ahead and pay for that, and those above five million Ghana cedis, we going to pay 40 per cent of that. And I believe that very soon we will see almost all the contractors going back to work and then you will see more roads there too,” she said.
“The capital needed in the road sector cannot be funded by the Government or the Road Fund alone, that is why we have come up with innovative measures like the Synohydro; the barter trade we did with China.”
“And as we speak five out of the 10 projects have been approved and we believe that very soon you will see also some major work on the Tamale Interchange, the Western Region inner city roads, the Cape Coast inner city roads and also selected feeder roads in the Ashanti Region.”
She said the funds for the roads sector came from three sources; the Road Fund itself, the Annual Budget, and funds from the nation’s usual revenues.
Mrs Osei-Asare said in 2017 alone, the Government paid GH₵491 million (to contractors for work done) in the road sector; while that of 2018 was GH₵954.4 million.
“And in 2019, we have done GH₵1.2 billion, and this is the highest any government will pay in a year for the road sector,” she said.
Touching on the Energy Sector, Mrs Osei-Asare said there were continuous liabilities and several purchasing power agreements that were signed running into cost, and some had crystalized, which the Government needed to pay.
She said in an effort to make the payments, certainly, government had to adjust the Energy Sector’s Levy to bring in some revenue as well as borrow to clear it.
Professor Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, the Rector, GIMPA, who chaired the function, appealed to the Government to allocate sufficient funds in the 2020 National Budget to the Institute.
Prof. Samuel Adams, Dean, School of Public Service and Governance, GIMPA, said the annual lecture series had been designed to strengthen the interface between academic, industry and the community and introduce some elements of practice into academics.
He said it was also seen as a joint forum to attempt at raising and solving some of our national problems.
In attendance were Mr Kofi Darko Asante, Chairman, GIMPA Council.GNA