… Says Some Of Them Take Advantage Of A Change In Gov’t To Submit Dubious Certificates
Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, has exposed contractors for conspiring to steal from the state whenever there is a new government.
Mr. Ofori-Atta disclosed that some contractors take advantage of the change in government to submit dubious certificates of works, which could not be proved, for payment.
The dishonesty of some these Ghanaian contractors, he noted, has contributed to the leakages in the state coffers.
“Suddenly, you are all at my door with certificates for some jobs you have executed, for which you have not been paid, as if I do not want to pay you,” he opined.
Minister Ofori-Atta expressed concern over the piles of certificates that have flooded his office from contractors, with some dating as far back as 2013. He further expressed disgust at the attitude of some the contractors, who think he (Minister) was under obligation to pay them.
According to him, the contractors sometimes behaved as though this government contracted them, and has, thus, failed to pay them.
The Minister, who said this at the maiden edition of a National Policy Summit, which opened in Accra yesterday, was responding to questions on the issues of the delay in paying contractors.
He observed that if contractors would blame the government for conspiring to pay them, then they are also part of the plot, saying, “government cannot pay for some false contracts.”
He wondered why, for instance, a contract certificate issued in 2013, would be signed in December 2016, “and how sanctimonious is such a contract?”
Continuing, Mr Ofori-Atta said: “I think we all have to give ourselves space and find a decent way of addressing this conspiracy,” he said demanding that both government and contractors reconsider the financial harm they are plunging the country into, through such dubious contract approaches.
Calling for an immediate change from that rot, the Minister said the government was bent on protecting the public purse.
Ghana spends more than it generates, the Minister said, and that the challenge the country’s economy is faced with would be halted under the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
“We are stopping a lot of the approaches that did not get Ghana to work. This government is on course,” he said.
The National Policy Summit was to provide a platform for government ministries, departments and agencies to engage stakeholders in their operations.
The two-day summit, which ends today, May 16, is under the theme: ‘Building Partnerships for Growth and Jobs’, and is expected to help the government elicit feedback to enhance further policy development.
Source: Maxwell Ofori || The Chronicle