This is despite government’s announcement that it will release 2 billion cedis to settle some arrears owed them early next year. According to the Chamber of Construction Industry, its members are still struggling to defray loans they took from banks to execute government projects as interest on such loans increase. “We should not beg for our own money. But for the sake of where we are. We are pleading. There are assurances so we are pleading. It is affecting us negatively, our people are crying. We don’t have money.” Chairman of the Chamber of Construction Industry, Emmanuel Martey lamented. He told Citi Business News, at a retreat organized by his outfit at Dodowa in the Eastern Region that the non- payment of their money is having a rippling effect as they are unable to defray huge debts they owe other sectors. “When you pay us, then we use it and the economy will grow. Pay the contractors for work legitimately done. So that they will have a break to pay their debt and do other things, he noted. Government owes contractors billions of cedis, a situation some financial analysts have said is a contributor to the liquidity challenge in the banking sector. In January this year, Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta indicated at a swearing-in ceremony of a new nine-member committee for the Ministry of Roads and highways in Accra that government had paid over one billion cedis, within the past 11 months to road contractors as part of arrears from the erstwhile administration. He added that the government has arranged to disburse another120 million cedis outstanding arrears to contractors between two and five years. The Chamber says it has welcomed the pronouncements but it wants government to quicken the process of payment so it does not suffer delays like previous years. “What they are going to release will go a long way to help us but they must quicken the pace to ensure that what is left will be released,”Mr. Martey stated. The construction industry is one of the biggest industry in the country with various sectors. The Chamber is made of engineers, planners, architects and surveyors.
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