PERSISTENCE refusal of the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fulfill its 2016 campaign promise to release funds to pay some road contractors within the three months has accounted immensely to the death of a total of the twenty (20) local road contractors who are being owed by the central government in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ACHWEK Company Limited, Mr Akoa Kofi Owusu Achiaw, who is the member of the Association of Road Contractors (ASOROC) disclosed this phenomenon in an interview with some selected senior journalists in Accra yesterday to register his displeasure against the government over the development.
What was very painful to the road contractors, according to him, was the fact that the governmet is keeping its death ear on the deaths of their colleagues including their grievances.
He mentioned that President Akufo-Addo, Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta and Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta were officially notified of the rising death tolls and economic hardship of the road contractors due to non-payment of their outstanding monies.
He lamented that their checks have ascertained to the fact that the recent deaths of some road constructors occurred due to the constant chasing out of their bankers to repay the load facilities they secured from banks to embark on the government road construction projects.
“In fact l want to state that we are suffering and dying of hunger now. I want all the people in this country to know that prior to the 2016 general election, whilst former President John Dramani Mahama led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government was owning the road contractors, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was then the Presidential Candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) met us and promised us that he would pay all the outstantading debts of the road contractors who are being owed by the Mahama- led NDC government within three months if he was given the nod to win the political power in 2016,” Mr Owusu Achiaw stated.
However Mr Achiaw in the angry tone expressed disappointment in Akufo-Addo for not fulfilling his campaign promise to release adequate funds to pay the road contractors since they voted for him to win the general elections as the President of the fourth Republic of Ghana.
“We have been hearing from news day and night that all about 90 per cent of Ghanaians were complaining bitterly about the deplorable natures of the various roads in the sixteen (16) administrative regions in the country.
“And we all know that President Akufo-Addo has appointed his relative, Mr Kofi Amoako Atta as the Minister of Roads and Highways so if the road funds were released for Mr Amoako Atta to pay the road contractors, the minister only gave the money to few road contractors and those of us who had even submitted our road construction project certificates for five years for payment were still left out of our fates.
“…So l want to say that Ghanaians should rather blame poor nature of the roads on President Akufo-Addo and his roads and highways minister including minister of finance,” Mr Owusu Achiaw bitterly complained.
Mr Owusu Achiaw who is working on the Koforidu-Mamfe road expressed shock why the Roads and Highways Minister has decided to pay other contractors leaving the Koforidu-Mamfe road which has been classified as an emergency road.
He also disclosed how his bankers were chasing him and other road contractors to repay loans they took to embark on the projects because the government had failed to settle the arrears after numerous promises.
According to him, government has been given numerous promises of clearing the debt, but they turn out to be mere lip service.
In this vain, he declared the immediate arrest of President Akufo-Addo, Mr Amoako Atta and Mr Kofi Ken Ofori-Atta for what he termed as “looking unconcerned for the deaths” of the affected road contractors being owned by the government.
“I am saying that Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and National Security should arrest or invite Nana Akufo-Addo, Ofori-Atta and Amoako Atta for questioning for the hardship the road contructors have been going through because we think and believe strongly that if the government should had paid the road contractors on time, these twenty contractors would have not died prematurely,” he stressed.
He stated that for the look of the economic hardship of ordinary Ghanaians componuded with the rising phenomenon of hunger and poverty that rocked some road contractors, “l can confidentiality say that the Akufo-Addo family and friends government are taking Ghana backwards.”
“I would like to say that if President Akufo-Addo wanted to collapse NPP, the very party that his father and uncles toiled their lives to form, then his family members are there looking for him to collapse the NPP and that the posterity would judge him,” the road contractor warned.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo should be remembered that many road contractors have joined him to stage the demonstration dubbed “Kumi Preko,” against the former President John Dramani Mahama for inflicting the economic hardship on Ghanaians.
He indicated that “during that protest some innocent Ghanaians had eventually died and fortunately Nana Akufo-Addo has survived and we have voted for him to change things but yet still we are still wallowing in absolute poverty.
Aaccording to him, since President Akufo-Addo assumed office, the pains”we the road contractors are experiencing are the hardship which amounted to the deaths of some of our colleagues because of the refusal of the central government to pay them.
In his estimation, Mr Owusu Achiaw noted that President Akufo-Addo and his family and friends government is only leading what he described as the “deceptive, selective and wicked” governmence, thereby collapsing some local businesses in this country.
He stated that his argument premised on the fact that he was awarded contract to construct the Koforidu-Mamfe road and after laying the prima-seal, which is the first phase, he raised a certificate to be paid so that he can ontinue but after five years he has not received even a cedi.
“President Akufo-Addo should know that it was my father, Mr John Brown house at Odonkor in Accra where the NPP was formed in 1991 by some prominent persons including Former President John Agyekum Kufour, the late Alan Adzetey and that the NPP should not disseminate against him where it comes to the payment of money to the road contractors being owned by the government,” he stated.
Source: Yaovi KORYEKPOR DOE-AWLESU