Association of Contractors to adopt peer review system to ensure quality of projects

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The Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG) intends to introduce a peer review system into its operations to ensure quality and timely delivery of projects.

Under the peer review system, every contractor who had obtained a contract would be expected to submit reports on the successful completion of the projects at its annual general meeting for scrutiny.

The peer review system would also help reduce the practice of undercutting to win a contract and enhance the delivery of quality infrastructure on time and the making of reasonable profits.

Mr Prosper Ledi, the National President of the ABCECG made this known when he addressed members of the association at its 13th Annual General Meeting held in Wa.

It was organised to take stock of the past year’s activities, strategise and forge ahead to make the association stronger and better in collaboration with strategic stakeholders to make the construction industry grow.

He said adequate investment in the construction sector could be used to trigger economic growth through employment generation, and therefore if the local players in the sector’s businesses were fledgling or failing, then it would be expected that the country’s economy would not do any better.

The construction sector was an important one that could easily be used to achieve jobs and wealth creation for the people.

“It is also a unique sector that employed almost every kind of labour including professional services, highly skilled and unskilled labour directly in construction and, when governments wanted their economies to thrive, they must ensure that the local players in the sector worked”, he said.

Mr Ledi said contractors had completed and partially completed contracts whose payment had been outstanding and they were being harassed by creditors, frustrated and unhappy, while their families were depressed because of the constant struggle in which the sector found itself.

The ABCECG President said Ghana had a huge housing deficit and the members of the association found themselves in that sordid state of hopelessness because governments had failed to do what was expected of them.

He said the danger of having a private sector-driven housing agenda all by itself brings about the uncoordinated nature of housing delivery in Ghana and no country could develop properly in that manner.

He said the association would engage consultants and investors to explore collaboration to access funding to be able to deliver major housing projects.

According to him discussions and preparations were far advanced, and the association was hopeful that by January 2023, it would hit the ground running with pilot projects, which it intended to, continue with projects in 10 regions on annual basis

Mr Ledi said the association was collaborating with the government to carry out the nation’s development goals, which would be in synchronisation with the National Development Planning Commission.

“This informal and adhoc housing system in Ghana is not sustainable in the future”, he said.

He said despite Ghana’s housing deficits, there were multiple completed houses that remained unoccupied and several remained incomplete after decades.

Mr Emmanuel Martey, Chairman of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry (GHCCI) in a speech read on his behalf, said the issue of housing needed urgent national attention or it could escalate into a national crisis or a security.

He said the cry for decent accommodation was from all angles including civil and public servants who did not have decent government bungalows; not to talk about inadequate accommodation challenges facing the security services and students in the various tertiary institutions.

He said governments had come out with various schemes to increase housing stock; however, those efforts had been insignificant in addressing the housing challenges.

He appealed to the ABCECG and civil society organisations, the financial institutions, telcos and insurance companies to step up their roles and efforts pertaining to the provision of housing schemes to help address the general housing deficit in the country.

Mr Martey called on contractors to join forces and form joint ventures and develop their capacity, through collaboration with the academia to implement newly acceptable technologies.

The GHCCI Chairman pleaded with the government to cede more of the big projects such as the interchanges, flyovers, hospitals among others to local contractors to help build their domestic capacities to compete favourably with international companies.

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