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Maiden Infrastructure and Construction Practice Seminar series held

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The challenges that confront Ghana’s construction industry require effective collaboration between all stakeholders to propel growth and contribute to the overall development of the country.

Key amongst the challenges, according to Rockson Dogbegah, Chairman, Construction Sector of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), was the politicisation of the award of contracts and payments to contractors.

“The issue about the politicisation of the award of contracts, its performance and subsequent payments is not desirable for the growth of the sector. Politics and construction has no link and relationship and so we are confident this challenge will be overcome in the near future,” he stated.

Speaking in Accra last Friday during the first edition of the Infrastructure and Construction Practice Seminar Series, Mr. Dogbegah said collaborative efforts towards developing the sector would result in a highly skilled and technological industry that could be exported for foreign exchange.

The event also saw the launching of the Construction Personalities and Ambassadors Scheme that seeks to recognise the contributions of individuals who have distinguished themselves in the sector.

“This industry has the ability to push Ghana’s revenue to a level that’s able to support the developmental drive. If we work towards tackling the impediments, we will grow its capacity and make it enviable enough to be exported to other countries for much needed funds,” he added.

Commenting on procurement challenges in the sector and how it could be resolved, he explained that procurement entities as well as clients and contractors must work in line with procurement provisions enshrined in the Public Procurement Act.

Effective evaluation and monitoring mechanisms and punitive measures were necessary to deter procurement officers from flouting the laws and ensuring that provisions of the Act was followed to the latter.

Another concern affecting the work of contractors, consultants and other service providers, the Chairman said was delay in payments on work done, especially government projects.

“There’s the need for sanity in terms of payments made to contractors, consultants and service providers. Delayed payments have rendered some contractors unattractive to suppliers and so they are out business. If we are to ensure value for money, then payments to contractors must be expedited at all times,” Mr. Dogbegah stated.

Notwithstanding the challenges, he said the AGI Construction Sector was focused on driving youths involvement in the industry.

To this end, he noted that, as part of their objectives to stimulate interest in the sector, the AGI Construction Sector was working to create opportunities that borders on jobs and expression of innovation and creativity.

In furtherance of the objective, Mr. Dogbegah said that his outfit has introduced the Monthly Construction Personality and Ambassador Scheme to identify individuals who were championing strategic development of areas in the construction sector including youth’s involvement, health and safety, local content, sustainability, use of local materials among others for recognition.

Mr. Emmanuel Nortey, a private electrical engineer called for a review of contract document for government projects which was currently not in the interest of contractors and consultants.

In order to build a sustainable sector, Mr. Martin Baidoo urged government to pursue manufacturing industries that focused on producing local building materials to reduce importation.

Appeal Court Juge, Justice Mrs Gertrude Torkornoo, attributed challenges in the construction sector to poor administrative systems that allow individuals to sidestep provisions in the Public Procurement Act geared towards transparency and fairness in the procurement process.

She said these challenges were driven by the failure of stakeholders to view themselves as responsible and accountable for undesired results including misuse and loss of public funds, through the roles they play in contract administration.

Source: Claude Nyarko Adams || Ghanaiantimes

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