Prosper Yao Ledi, the President of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG), has welcomed moves to restore membership of contractor associations as a key requirement for registration and renewal of licenses.
He said the move would help to significantly sanitise the industry and engender professionalism.
Mr Ledi was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on efforts being made by the Ministry of Works and Housing to address concerns of the construction industry.
Membership of ABCECG used to be a requirement for every building contractor in Ghana and without it, a contractor could not win a government tender.
However, that requirement is no longer being enforced, resulting in many contractors acting as they pleased, without any sanction or peer review.
However, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister of Works and Housing, has said the old order would be restored.
He told contractors at the Annual General Meeting of ABCECG that the Ministry “will restore the need for the submission of the ABCECG Membership Certificate as one of the key requirements for registration and renewal as a Contractor”.
He said it would result in bringing building contractors under one umbrella for effective regulation to ensure best practices.
The Minister also said the move would be backed by legislation as it applies to other professionals such as Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Planners.
Mr Ledi commended the Minister for the bold decision and said the Association would give it its full backing.
He recounted several instances where victims of shoddy jobs reported to the Association but because the perpetrators were not registered members, the Association could not help the victims.
He also spoke about the influx of foreign contractors, who are not registered with any Association and yet execute contracts without any form of monitoring to ensure that they respect the labour and other laws of the country.
“You can’t study law outside and come to Ghana and start practising, same with medicine, so why can anyone come to Ghana and start executing projects without belonging to any of the recognised associations?
The ABCECG President expressed the hope that the construction industry would be sanitised if every contractor is compelled to belong to a duly recognised association in the country.
“You cannot go to other countries and do as you please, but that is what is happening in Ghana currently. That is why we are happy the Minister wants to restore membership certificate as a requirement to register or renew registration”.
Mr Ledi said the Association would continue to collaborate with the Ministry to develop the sector and commended the government for the resumption of payment of arrears owed contractors.
“All the key sectors are paying and we are happy,” and urged the government to ensure that every contractor is paid.
Mr Ledi also called on government to ensure that advance mobilisation was provided for every contract and that the overemphasis on the lowest bidder at the expense of quality and ability is done away with.
He explained that these two practices has led to shoddy jobs.