By: Lamia Nabil
The total number of contracting companies that have completely halted operations during the past two years currently stand at 13,615, with nearly 75% of all road contractors filing for bankruptcy, according the Egyptian Federation for Construction & Building Contractors (EFCBC)
The EFCBC attributed the phenomenon to the worsening economic security and security environments over the last two years, as well as recent diesel and construction materials prices hikes.
“The entire sector is suffering from a diesel shortage,” said Daker Abd-Ilah, a member of the EFCBC. “It’s a massive problem as all machines and tools consume diesel.”
Abd-Ilah highlighted that materials prices rose by more than 100%, with asphalt prices reaching EGP 1,100, up from EGP 200 and cement currently at EGP 700 per tonne, up from EGP 200 per tonne.
“I’m very upset with the minister of petroleum’s statements,” he continued. “It as if he was talking about another problem. The ministry forced contractor companies to deal with smugglers, as we now buy our diesel from the black market at a price of EGP 5 per litre.”
“What we have seen since the revolution,” he continued, “is a series of successive governments with trembling hands and inept decisions.”
The EFCBC warned of increasing numbers of companies filing for bankruptcy if the situation persists.
Mohamed El-Sayed Aboul Enein, the EFCBC secretary general, said that total registered companies in the sector currently stand at 41,814, the renewed license companies are 14938 while the rest 13473 companies are already exited, due to bankruptcy or activity change especially with less work in the construction sector and also many problems related to taxes and employees social insurance and labor.
He reported that work has already stopped on a number of contracting company projects due to their inability to complete them.
The EFCBC next course of action is to prepare a memorandum to be sent to Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, with another to be sent to Minister of Petroleum Ossama Kamal.