The First Contractors Association Ghana (FCAG) made up of over 1,486 contractors have expressed their displeasure at government’s inability to resolve the feud connected to the Ghana First Company Limited (GFCL) ‘Clean Sanitation Project’.
Speaking to the media at a Community engagement held 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 noted that the contractors went through all necessary procedures to acquire the contract and sought financial support from banks to enable them complete the project at the stipulated time of three months adding that contractors spent a whopping amount of money on the project that was becoming fruitless.
Mr Edward Kofi Appah said the contractors opted for the project because they were given the assurance that it was a genuine contract between the Government of Ghana and the Ghana first Company limited, which led 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 indicated that 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 Partnership Project (PPP) arrangement between the government of Ghana through the Local Government and the Sanitation Ministry.
Mr Appah said 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 them because if the ministry was claiming it has no knowledge of the contract, then where did the three letters signed and stamped by its former Deputy ministers came from” he stated.
Mr Appah alleged that, the Minister of Sanitation was sighted a couple of times together with the CEO of GFCL 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 led the association to call on the government to deal with the situation at hand, but all efforts to get the government to respond to their grievances 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.