Contractors in charge of GETFund projects in schools risk losing their contracts if they do not return to work immediately.
This was the substance of an order by the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who said all debts owed the contractors have been cleared.
The minister said that the Akufo-Addo government has cleared all debts for contracts awarded since 2016. He warned that contractors who do not return to complete the projects immediately will have their contract terminated.
“If the contract was awarded in 2017 and you put in your certificate, it takes about six weeks to get paid. Of course, it is much better than the years of unpaid contracts,” said Opoku Prempeh at an inauguration ceremony for the GETFund Mid-Ghana Office in Kumasi.
“The Ministry of Education under my leadership has instructed the GETFund to make sure contractors, especially those working in senior high schools who have been paid, go back on site to complete the projects, or come to the termination of its contracts and [these] be reawarded.”
$500 million loan
The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) secured a $500 million facility in 2018 to expand infrastructure in Ghana’s senior high schools (SHSs).
This was meant to make the institutions ready to accommodate the increased number of students with the implementation of the Free SHS policy a year earlier.
“The Ghana Education Trust Fund has secured a $500 million facility for the construction of new schools and the expansion of infrastructure and existing ones,” President Akufo-Addo said at the time.
However, some contractors hired to execute the projects complained that the government was refusing to pay them for work they had been engaged to do.
The Education Minister’s statement puts paid to these claims.
Better placed to manage funds
Also present in Kumasi at the inauguration ceremony for the GETFund Mid-Ghana Office was the chairman of the Fund’s board of trustees, Dominic Fobi.
He said that with the decentralisation of its offices, GETFund will be better placed to manage public funds effectively.
“I’m particularly proud to note that GETFund has been a significant partner in the government’s drive to expand infrastructure in all senior high schools in Ghana to accommodate the double-track system,” Professor Fobi said.
“It is my hope and expectation that through the decentralisation of its monitoring and evaluation activities, which has occasioned the establishment of this and other zonal offices, GETFund will move from strength to strength and be better able to manage public funds entrusted in its care.”
The GETFund Mid-Ghana office in Kumasi will have oversight in the Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Western North Regions.
E A Alanore