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Business News of Sunday, 23 May 2021

Source: GNA

Indulge in best practices - Building and civil engineering contractors told

Freda Prempeh, Minister of State in charge of Works and Housing Freda Prempeh, Minister of State in charge of Works and Housing

Dr Freda Prempeh, Minister of State in charge of of Works and Housing, has called on contractors to indulge in best practices to meet international standards.

She said this would also enable the government and the private sector to rely on the indigenous contractors to undertake most local projects.

Dr Prempeh was speaking at the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana in Accra.

The AGM was on the theme: "The 21st Century Contractor a Solid Partner for Development."

She said the theme was well thought out especially in the era of the Corona Virus pandemic.

The Minister said there could be no better time like this to work together as partners to be able achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030.

"In this regard, the SDG goal 11 should be the focus for all partnerships within the built environment," she said.

She said the construction industry was a dependable indicator for measuring the economic growth of any country and the multiplier effect of the industry was enormous especially when it was vibrant and booming.

Dr Prempeh said the Ghanaian Construction industry, as in many other economies held the key to the development of the nation.

This industry contributes to the national socio-economic development by providing significant employment opportunities for non-skilled and skilled levels.

She said beyond that, the industry provides the infrastructure and facilities required for other sectors of the economy to flourish.

She said the potential to generate income, create employment and address housing needs for instance was steps towards alleviating poverty.

"These additional factors are a few of the reasons why the construction industry plays an important role in the growth of national development," the Minister said.

She commended the leadership of the Association for their significant progress regarding their partnership with other international companies which obviously would strengthen the financial and technical capacity for bigger projects.

Dr Prempeh said the step would go a long way to help local companies adopt contemporary technologies being used.

The Minister raised the issues that the contractors were often accused of including shoddy work, low technical capacity, delayed projects and wrong classification.

She said as policy formulators, the Ministry would continue to render its support and engage the Association to deliver to the Ghanaians.

Mr K. H Osei--Asante, a Consultant, said to become a 21st Century Contractor, the Association must take construction as a business.

He said they must see the sector from a technological mix point of view, while developing the construction manpower.

The Consultant said it was important to develop local materials and equipment to reduce construction cost.

Mr Prosper Yao Ledi, the National President of the Association, said they faced alot to challenges but they were determined to confront and address them.

He said "we will continue to push for the establishment of a regulator for our sector to sanitize and develop it."

Mr Ledi said the Association would also continue to advocate to ensure that foreign companies were compelled to register with them and other construction Associations and respect the laws.

"We will speak against the unfortunate practice of people shielding foreign companies, who blatantly disregard our laws and do as they pleases," he added.