I will pay contractors to ensure a stronger economy – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has promised to see that all debt owed Ghanaian contractors is paid to ensure a strong economy.

He made these assertions at a meeting with some members of the Association of Contractors to understand their grievances and give out measures that will be put in place to better their lives when he is voted into power in the 2020 December elections.

The President said there should not be inconsistency in the construction sector due to change of government.He added that,the sector contribute largely to the success of other sectors.

“We understand the inter-linkages between construction companies and the rest of the economy, and the stimulus effect that it has on other sectors. So, government is a continuum; there shouldn’t be the case that every four years if it turns out there is a change in government, there is a disruption; it shouldn’t happen like that.

He further added that,developed countries do not condone such attitudes from government when voted into power.

“The countries which have developed have not developed like that; when there is change of power, Ghanaian enterprises have to come to a halt and you have to stimulate the economy again and again. That is not what will grow the economy,” He said.

Members of the association revealed that due to government’s indebtedness to them they are struggling to stay in business

“We are losing a lot of our members because of the debt they owe. We had a meeting at the Conference Centre and all the relevant ministers were there. We were promised that GH¢1 billion out of the GH¢2.2 billion debt owed contractors was ready to be paid, but many of us have not received the payment,” said James Ato, a contractor.

Mr. Mahama accused the current government of stifling many other sectors as its indebtedness to contractors linger.

“When they stopped contractors from working, it affected fuel station owners because they were giving the contractors fuel on credit; knowing that when government pays them, they would come and pay. It also affected cement suppliers; and equipment suppliers also suffered.

“When contractors stop work, they lay-off workers; and we anticipate that job losses in the construction sector will amount to some 100,000 people. They include civil engineers, mechanical engineers, excavator operators, steel-benders among others. Some of the banks also collapsed because of the outlay they made to contractors with legitimate government of Ghana contracts and had executed the job awaiting payment.”

Paa Kweku Eshun Talksafrica.com

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