Construction Industry Development Authority a priority – Contractors

Accra, Oct. 17, GNA – The leadership of the
Contractors Association has said that an industry development authority is crucial
if the sector is to be transformed and contribute meaningfully to the
development of the country.

The construction sector is currently reeling
under several challenges, key among them are delayed payments for works done,
preference for foreign contractors over indigenous ones and low capacity of
indigenous construction firms.

These challenges have existed for years and
are becoming the norm.

Mr Prosper Yao Ledi, the new President of the
Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG),
said these negative practices must give way to a new phase where the indigenous
contractors can also rub shoulders with contractors anywhere on the globe.

He said even when contracts are given to
foreign companies ahead of Ghanaian firms, in most of the cases, the foreign
contractor subcontracts the job to indigenous contractors.

This, Mr Ledi said, clearly shows that the
Ghanaian contractor is capable and should be given the opportunity to prove
himself.

The President of ABCECG said the transformation
of the construction industry can only be achieved through a holistic approach.

He, however, explained that the holistic
approach can be attained through the establishment of an industry development
authority which will regulate and ensure the proper transformation of the
sector.

Contractors have mooted the idea of an
industry regulator, which they have christened the Construction Industry
Development Authority (CIDA).

The CIDA will regulate the activities of
contractors in the industry to ensure high standard of performance. It will
also prescribe and enforce professional requirements of the category of
contractors. The Authority will also monitor and evaluate the performance and
efficiency of registered contractors.

ABCECG is receiving funding support from the
Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund to make the establishment of
the Authority a reality.

The Authority will not only seek to develop
the industry but it will also ensure that all stakeholders including government
act appropriately.

It is anticipated that the Authority will
ensure that delayed payments are reduced to the barest minimum and when they
occur, interest will be paid to the contractor.

In other jurisdictions such an authority also
ensures that no project begins unless funding has been duly secured and
contractors in Ghana are hoping that such a policy will become a reality in the
country as well.

Mr Ledi said efforts to establish the
Authority is far advanced as the draft bill is being worked on. 

He expressed gratitude to BUSAC for the
support and said he was going to work with other stakeholders to complete work
on the draft bill.

Mr Ledi called on the sector Minister to
support the establishment of the Authority and appealed to government to pay
the arrears owed contractors.

He said contractors have been unfairly treated
and some urgency should be attached to efforts to pay up the arrears, adding
that the delay was unbearable.

GNA

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