Aggrieved contractors have no right to close down schools – Ministry

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The Education Ministry has called the bluff of some aggrieved contractors who are threatening to close down schools they built for the government but have not been paid.

The Ministry said the contractors do not have the right to do so since the buildings are for the government.

On Tuesday, some contractors under the umbrella Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana threatened to lock up all schools built by them nationwide, should government fail to pay all monies owed them by the end of June 26, 2019.

According to the contractors, the government through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) secured a loan of $1.5 billion to pay contractors for work done, but have failed to pay them in full.

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But the Head of Public Relations at the Education Ministry, Vincent Ekow Assafuah in a Citi News interview said the Ministry is yet to receive a formal complaint from the aggrieved contractors.

“We have not seen any formal correspondent from the Association of Contractors. It doesn’t lie within the right of the contractors to say that they are going to close down schools. Schools that have been built for and on behalf of the government remains the property of the government,” Vincent Ekow Assafuah said.

He, however, added that the Ministry the situation must not be misconstrued as a deliberate government effort not to pay them since auditing was ongoing on all the projects.

“The Ministry of Education through GETFund is currently embarking on an audit at GETFund to validate quite a number of these contracts. We believe that per the data available to us and some investigation, it is clear that we need to validate these contracts. Some of the contracts did not go through the laid down procedure for awarding contracts others were also non-existing. So it is not like an intentional approach by the government not to pay these contractors,” Mr. Ekow Assafuah said.

 

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