Business News of Tuesday, 4 June 2013
The Centre Chair for the Ghana branch of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Rockson Dogbegah, is advocating setting up a bank solely for the construction industry. He said this has become necessary due to the high financial cost involved in any construction project.
Mr. Dogbegah lamented that contractors have to deal with enormous challenges in the execution of projects, some of which include little or no pre-financing for Government projects; delayed payment and its attendant interest rate hikes; and direct competition from supervisors of projects at Government agencies who also have companies bidding for the same projects, among others.
Speaking at the just-ended “Water Africa and West Africa Building and Construction Conference 2013”, Mr, Dogbegah -- who is also Chairman of Berock Ventures, a construction company, and the President of the Ghana Contractors Association Council -- said if industry players can have access to loans at very reasonable interest rates, it will among other things ensure that standards are adhered to in executing projects.
The CIOB Centre Chair made reference to the defunct Bank for Housing and Construction, saying the recent building collapses due to shoddy work could be a thing of the past if such a bank, properly managed, was in existence. He said most contractors upon realising the drastic reduction in their profit margins due to accrued interest from delayed payments, resort to using inferior products to execute projects.
Mr. Dogbegah noted that it is about time the industry had a regulator, an agenda CIOB Ghana has been driving forcefully as part of its year-long advocacy campaign to regulate and sanitise the construction industry in Ghana.
Mr. Dogebegah said a lot has already been done in getting the industry sanitised, but added that a lot still needs to be done. Highlighting some of the activities that have already taken place, he mentioned an international working visit to Malaysia and Singapore by a high-powered Government delegation and built environment professionals to understudy their construction industry.
Again, he mentioned that a communiqué has been issued following the various activities held earlier in the year and as a first-step toward getting a Construction Industry Development Board.
According to him, the establishment of the Board will ensure there is a proper control mechanism in place so that contractors can be penalised for shoddy work. He urged the media to intensify their watchdog role by following up on projects -- from the sod-cutting stage through to finishing -- as this will ensure that the proper thing is done.
He called on Government, corporate Ghana and other relevant stakeholders to support CIOB Ghana in driving this agenda.