The First Contractors Association Ghana (FCAG) made up of over 1,486 contractors have expressed their displeasure over how the government have neglected all pleas to help resolve the feud in connection to the Ghana First Company Limited (GFCL) ‘Clean Sanitation Project’ saga.
Speaking at a Community engagement with the media at Fodoa in the Kwahu West Municipality in the Eastern Region, Mr Edward Kofi Appah, a member of the association and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gye Nyame Sand and Building Construction Works said the project, which was awarded to the contractors in 2017 was for them to construct toilet facilities in communities across the country under the ‘Clean Ghana Sanitation Project’, a project that was to curb open defecation in the country.
He said the contractors went through all necessary procedures to acquire the contract and seeked financial support from banks to enable them complete the project at the stipulated time of three months adding that contractors have spent a whopping amount of money on the project which appears to be a fraud.
He said the contractors opted for the project because they were rest assured that it was a genuine contract between the Government of Ghana and the Ghana First Company which lead individual contractors to conclude that the contract was government endorsed and that their due diligence was complete to proceed with contract arrangements of GFCL.
He said the government’s involvement in the entire contract and the support given to GFCL, a company that had no previous experience or expertise in the construction and management of solid waste prior to the formulation of alliance in a purported Private Patnership Project (PPP) arrangement between the government of Ghana through the Local Government and the Sanitation Ministry.
Mr Appah said the government through the district assemblies provided land and other assistance to the Ghana First Company Limited for the contractors to begin work in the mid-2017.
”It is a baffling revelation to us because if the ministry was claiming it has no knowledge of the contract then where did the three letters signed and stamped by its formal Deputy Ministers came from” he stated.
Mr Appah noted that, the Minister of Sanitation was sighted a couple of times together with the CEO of GFCL, Mr Frank Akulley conducting inspections on some of the facilities in one of the communities.
He said the association in the process presented three letters including two introductory letters and a letter of support to the Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Sanitation and the government to help make claims of the projects viability and financial status.
Mr Appah said their responses on other media platforms lead the association to call on the government to as a matter of urgency deal with the situation at hand but all efforts to get the government to respond to their grieveances had proved futile.
”As contractors we understand debt, hence some of our members are willing to take the bull by the horn and complete the projects and run them to settle their debt and also assist host communities”, he added.
He stated that other investors were ready to get the same introductory and support letters from government to be able to offload the contracts to them but the silence of government and the subsequent publication in their achievement tracker was pushing them away.
He urged the government to be bold and declare their intention for the project so that they could save their dying members.
”The government’s silence is scaring the local assemblies from executing BoT agreements for our members to continue the project” he stated.
The association is therefore pleading for the arrest and probe of GFCL Directors.
”We are strongly recommending with immediate effect to arrest the CEO of Ghana First Company Limited Mr Frank Akuley and prosecute him for defrauding contractors of their livelihoods.