Some cocoa road contractors in Ghana have given the government and COCOBOD fourteen (14) working days to settle all the outstanding Interim Payment Certificates (IPCs).
Failure on the parts of government and COCOBOD, the contractors say, will attract their wrath.
The aggrieved cocoa road contractors in a statement released on August 8th, 2022, made reference to cocoa road projects awarded in 2015/2016 under the CEO Dr. Stephen Opuni totaling a little above 4.7 billion Ghana Cedis.
In a Press Release signed by Emmanuel Cherry, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, he indicated that these contracts were being executed by various contractors nationwide and payment were being made steadily by COCOBOD according to their payment regime.
These projects however, were stalled in 2017, when the new government under His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo took over.
Two years later, contractors were asked to go back to site which resulted in a huge financial burden of contractors mobilizing back to site.
“Unfortunately, COCOBOD has put a fiat on payment of interest on delayed payment. The recent projects awarded by the current management of COCOBOD, headed by Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo amounts to a little over 14 billion Ghana Cedis. In spite of payment challenges, contractors were on site working to ensure completion of these projects,” he stated.
He said: “It will interest you to note that for more than two years, COCOBOD has ceased making prompt payment to contractors which has created a huge financial vacuum on the projects.”
According to him, this information is important to the general public, the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Presidency, because these contracts were signed in good faith and contractors, were expectant of prompt payment but recent developments in the payment schedule of COCOBOD leave much to be desired.
Payment of IPCs raised are expected to be paid within 90 days but here we are, some IPCs have been in the system for over two years.
“This situation has forced over 95% of Cocoa Road contractors out of site in recent time with no hope of returning to continue or complete these projects. It is worth mentioning that, considering the rise in inflation and materials, it is extremely difficult for contractors to manage the huge financial burden. Based on these frustrations and hardships, we wish to petition the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD to effect payment of outstanding IPCs within 14 working days from today,” he stated.
He warned that if this ultimatum elapses without any concrete evidence of payment, COCOBOD will face the wrath of cocoa road contractors.