Contractors in the Volta Region have called for the elimination of imposters who clandestinely secure contracts and then trade them off to the genuine firms at uncompetitive prices. Mr Prosper Ledi, Regional Chairman of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG) Volta Branch, was addressing a general meeting of the association in Ho on Thursday.
He said these shams, “normally party activists, skim off all available margins before disposing them off to the legitimate contractors who fall prey for lack of jobs”. Mr Ledi also complained about open auctioning of public jobs to “companies which could afford to pay” making the yardstick for getting jobs based on the “ability to pay and not professionalism and experience.” He called the practice a “menace” which must be stamped out “to help in sanitizing the construction industry in the Volta Region”.
Mr Ledi said the practice was responsible for the many uncompleted and shoddy jobs done in the region which is “the greatest loser. We therefore need to stamp out these corrupt practices…” He said local firms in the region are ready to partner their foreign counterparts to gain the “necessary knowledge and skills needed for the big jobs.”
Mr Ledi said the association, which has been dormant in the region, had been revived and ready to collaborate with the government and its agencies to attain a relationship of “collective responsibility and accountability”. Mr Ledi said the association is incorporating a peer review mechanism that would sanction incompetence. Mr Ledi said the association was not “asking for underserved favours” but that its members “be treated equally and fairly in the distribution of development projects in the region.”
Responding Mr Joseph Amenowode, the Volta Regional Minister, said government would not tolerate underhand dealings in contract management. He said only genuine firms preferably those allied to professional associations would be considered for jobs that they must prosecute strictly according to schedule or be sanctioned. Mr Amenowode told the contractors to “brace up for the many jobs lined up for the region” but suggested that they merge their small companies into bigger ones to get the big jobs.
The Minister said he would not give jobs in return for gifts and asked the contractors to report anybody who make demands on them in the name of any government appointee for jobs. He said jobs being unduly delayed are being evaluated for action and promised that payment due contractors would be processed for payment. “All I ask of you is to be socially responsible and innovative so as to help generate growth that would generate employment and provide income for our people,” Mr Amenowode said.
The government on its part, he said, would “provide the conditions necessary to facilitate and promote private sector growth”. He said a contractor found to have sold a contract that he bid for and won would be automatically blacklisted. During an open forum Mr Sampson Ayiku, Managing Director of Ukiya Ventures, said delay in the payment for jobs was a major problem for contractors, many of whom took credits from banks to execute those jobs. He said it would be prudent for government to pay interest on such delayed payments.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|