Gov't Owes Road Contractors GHC740 Million

The government owes road contractors GHC740 million, and until they are paid, most of the ongoing road construction and other projects will be at a standstill, Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Deputy Minority Chief Whip, has said. Mr. Baffour-Awuah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani West and a Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, was responding to a question at a parliamentary forum at Odumase in the Sunyani West District. It was organised by the Public Affairs Department of Parliament and aimed at sensitising the public on the activities and the work of the legislature. Mr. Baffour-Awuah said because of lack of funding, many ongoing road projects had come to a standstill while new ones expected to be constructed had not been touched. He said the economic situation in the country was very bad, to the extent that it had affected some unconventional responsibilities of the legislature. Mr. Dominic Nitiwul, Minority Leader of Parliament, stressed that the Minority was aware and had taken inventory of all the road projects the government held sod-cutting ceremonies to construct during the 2012 electioneering campaign. He said the Minority would continue to mount pressure on the government so that it would start work on all those road projects. Mr. Nitiwul said it was unfortunate that successive governments in their political campaigns performed numerous sod-cutting ceremonies on some projects, though they had not factored such projects in their budgets. This situation, said Mr. Nitiwul, who is the MP for Bimbilla, brought pressure on the MPs as their constituents held wrong perception that it was the work of the MP to undertake those projects. He said Parliament, and for that matter the Minority, had taken inventory of all such projects and very soon it would put pressure on the government to execute them. Mr. Masawud Mohammed, MP for Pru, said the government would do things possible to ensure that work begins on all projects earmarked for construction. He said the current economic depression had compelled the government to make some adjustments, adding that the government had no ulterior motive to worsen the plight of citizens. Mr. Mohammed appealed to Ghanaians to be patient and play their roles with diligence in helping to stabilise the economy.