10,000 Ghana First ultra-modern toilet project positive development – Contractors confess

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Contractors working with Ghana First Company Limited on it over 10,000 ultra-modern toilet project, being executed in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), have described that project as “a positive development” in helping to tackle the country’s sanitation challenges.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, after a meeting with the management of the company, the contractors confessed that they were misled by detractors of the company into believing that the project was a scam.

Mr Emmanuel Dapaah, Chairman of New World Contractors Association of Ghana, who doubles as the spokesperson for the contractors, said the misconceptions they had about the project were dealt with at the crucial meeting.

Ghana First Company Limited, under a Public-Private Partnership with the government, is constructing 10,000 units of modern automated toilet facilities across all metropolis, municipalities and districts in the country in a ‘Clean Ghana project’.

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Payment misunderstanding

The information technology-based places of convenience are located in schools, market places, lorry parks, among others. But the project has stalled for some time due to some misunderstanding between the company and its contractors over payment for work done.

The terms of the contract for the Turn Key Project dictate that “the contractor shall be paid only upon full completion and hand-over of the entire project.”

Without prejudice to this provision, “the Employer reserves the right to pay part of the total sum amounting to 60% of the quantum sum after collaborative site visit and inspection is done by the employer, the bankers and the contractor.”

“The employer, therefore, without any doubt, reserves the right to uphold this said payment when defects are detected after the collaborative site visit and inspection…” the agreement further stipulates.

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As an outcome of Friday’s meeting, Mr Dapaah told newsmen: “We were able to understand certain issues and there is peace between us and the company. It is not a scam as earlier projected in the media, but we need the government to support Ghana First so they can pay the contractors.”

Land title for credit

The contractors called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to support them to acquire the necessary documents to undertake the projects.

The contractors complained that even though they have agreements with the MMDAs to construct the sanitation facilities, land title documents that are supposed to be released to facilitate acquisition of credit facilities for the projects are not forthcoming.

According to the agreement, “the Project Partner hereby covenants that the land it shall provide shall be its self-acquired land with title, right and interest in the said land having vested in the Project Partner.”

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“Furthermore, the land so provided shall be vested to the project owner who is authorized to use the respective land for the purpose of securing funding only for this project,” it adds.

Meanwhile, Mr Frank Akuley, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana First Company, after the meeting with the contractors that resolved a misunderstanding, said: “They promised to submit the land title document within four months because we are going to use it to secure funding from the bank.

“But till date, we have not received any land title from these Assemblies. That is our worry, so we are appealing to the authorities to talk to them so we have the document so we can get the money to complete the projects.”

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