General News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Mr Rockson Dogbegah, the AGI Construction Sector Chair, said a strategic intervention is needed to redeem the construction industry to deliver quality products and guarantee value for money, security, health and safety of citizens.
He said it is high time the country stopped the lamentations and complaints anytime disaster struck and take steps to save the construction industry from neglect because of the higher level of security risk and danger that it posed to human life and property.
“There appears to be a very slow or lack of appreciation of the interventions needed to redeem the construction industry to deliver quality products to guarantee value for money, security, health and safety of citizens,” Mr Dogbegah said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
“It appears that as a country, we are not doing what it takes to find sustainable solutions. Almost every time there is a disaster, we all lament and it ends there,” he said.
Making reference to building collapses, which have occurred in Accra and other parts of the country over the last four years claiming many lives, Mr Dogbegah said such occurrences should have necessitated a deliberate strategy to fix the problem sustainably.
“A building collapse in Malaysia triggered an action to establish a construction industrial development board to ensure the growth and development of the construction industry. Today Malaysia and countries that have embraced development of the construction industry; a sector which contributes very significantly to GDP, averagely about 10 per cent globally and 14.8 per cent specifically in Ghana,” he said.
“Countries such as Malaysia are now exporting construction capacity and repatriating the profits into their countries. This imported capacity is what we cherish so much and pay attention to. This is a deliberate policy of other countries to grow and develop the capacity of their construction service providers,” Mr Dogbegah said.
He said the construction sector has done a lot of stakeholder engagements on the need to relook at the sector but this appears not to be yielding results as one would have thought knowing the dangers associated with inaction and our high expectation for growth and development.
Mr Dogbegah said examples of previous actions include: workshop on the need to sanitize and regulate the construction industry in Ghana, Stakeholders’ Workshop on “Towards Establishing a Construction Industry Regulatory Agency,” and consultancies for the drafting of the Construction Industry Development Authority Bill and identification of sponsoring authority, among others.
He cited the comprehensive baseline research, sponsored by the BUSAC Fund, which recommends the development of a construction industry development authority (CIDA) as a panacea.
CIDA, he said, would be the umbrella body to oversee the construction industry development activities in Ghana.
Its functions, among others, include promotion and implementation of policies and programme to regulate the construction industry; prescribe and maintain professional standards within the industry; and promote appropriate technology and designs.
He said stakeholder ministries have reviewed these documents extensively; Road and Highway and Ministry of Works and Housing culminating into draft bill currently at Attorney General’s office.
“It is our hope that the CIDA Bill will be taken more seriously as a necessity for our development. We call on all stakeholders to help ensure the speedy passing of the bill on construction industry development in Ghana,” Mr Dogbegah said.