Stania Company and Investment Limited, the contractors who constructed the Apedwa New Town M/A Kindergarten and Primary school in the East Akyem Abuakwa Municipality of the Eastern Region, have threatened to lock up the school on Monday.
According to the contractors, GETFUND, who contracted them to build the school as part of the GETFUND projects have failed to reimburse them over two years after completing the project, which has led to the confiscation of their properties.
The 6-unit classroom block neatly painted with a toilet facility, a staff common room, library, storeroom and headteacher’s office, is located about a 100 metres away from the Apedwa Kibi junction just behind Park Agrotech Ghana Limited.
When Citi News visited the school, classes were in session.
But this teaching and learning activity may come to a halt on Monday 10th December, as the contractor, Godwin Quao, has threatened to lock up the school because GETFUND has refused to pay him.
According to the contractor, his bankers, Sedfund Savings and Loans Company Limited, have already confiscated his vehicle which has been put up for auctioning because of his inability to pay back the loan he took from them.
“I took a loan from my bankers to complete the project and after two years the GETFUND has failed to reimburse me, my Pontiac vibe has been confiscated by the bank and it has been put up for sale. They are auctioning my car just because the time given to me to make payment has elapsed, they have indicated that they will be coming for my house which I used as collateral for the loan”.
Godwin Quao, however, indicated that, although he has not been paid, GETFUND has proudly published the school in their brochure as part of completed GETFUND projects.
“When you get to the GETFUND secretariat you will realize they have published this school in their brochure as part of the completed GETFUND projects even though they have not paid me. How can they do such a thing to a young contractor like me who went for a bank loan to complete the project, you go all around the country you will see a number of uncompleted GETFUND projects just because there are no funds; so if I have been able to complete mine I believe its proper to pay me”.
Abena Hellen, who sells food at the school and also has three of her children in the school, told Citi News the closure of the school will affect her business and the education of her children.
“I want the government and the appropriate authorities to immediately address the concerns of the contractor and pay him because if he goes ahead on Monday to lock the school it will affect my food business because I also use the same money to take care of my 3 children who are also in the school. I have also paid printing fees because they will be starting their exams next week so I will be affected and I don’t know where I will take my children if the school is closed”.
The contractor called on President Akufo-Addo to intervene since the school is located in his constituency.
“The interest on the loan I took from the bank has tripled, I am frustrated my family and I cannot enjoy a good sleep now because the bank has threatened to come for our house. I am pleading with President Nana Addo to intervene so that GETFUND pays me with all the bank interest because this very school is in his constituency and the good people of Abuakwa are the beneficiaries.”
Authorities at the school who refused to comment on the issue say the closure of the school will affect their academic calendar as they prepare to commence the end of term examination next week.
GETFFund indebtedness to contractors in the country is a common phenomenon.