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.