E/R: Pupils stranded as contractor locks up school at over non-payment of debts

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Pupils of the Roman Catholic Primary School in Akyem Asene, situated in the Asene Manso Akroso district of the Eastern Region, found themselves stranded this morning as the contractor responsible for the school building project locked up the premises.

The contractor, Mr. Agyekum Kontor, CEO of Kontor Sadea and Sons Company Ltd, took this drastic step to demand payment from the government, which he claims has been pending for over seven years.

 

Mr. Kontor asserts that despite completing the school project more than seven years ago, he has yet to receive payment from the government through the district assembly.

Frustrated by the prolonged delay and what he describes as unfulfilled promises, Mr. Kontor has resorted to locking up the school building until his outstanding payment is settled.

In his statement to the media, Mr. Kontor expressed his exasperation with the district assembly and government, accusing them of repeatedly delaying and evading payment despite his fulfillment of all contractual obligations.

“I have constructed this classroom block since 2016 but I have not been paid. They should pay by tomorrow. I have been at GETFUND for many times but they haven’t paid me. Sadly, they are all over the place claiming they have paid all contractors. Meanwhile, that is not the case. They have not paid me a penny but I handed over the facility to them in 2021.”

 

The contract added “I have shut down the school on two occasions which the DCE intervened to beg. Whenever I shut down the school they come to beg me and out of compassion for the children I open it but now I am broke”

He emphasized that until he receives the payment owed to him, he will not reopen the school for the children.

The plight of the schoolchildren was evident as some expressed their frustration, unsure whether to wait at the locked gates or return home.

The school authorities said uncertainty caused by the closure of the school highlights the urgency of resolving the payment dispute between the contractor and the government.

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