Ghana’s construction industry urgently requires a regulatory body if the sector is to speedily progress and meet the strict professionalism required of the sector in a rapidly developing middle income country, an industry captain has said.
Mr. Rockson Dogbegah, Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), said the regulatory body will champion the growth and development of the industry. Speaking to Goldstreet Business at the Water Africa and West Africa, Building and Construction 2017, Dogbegah identified about 44 items that are militating against the growth and development of the sector.
Among the identified issues were the managerial capacity, resources and skills, supervision and monitoring, as well as the availability of data for the industry, he added. The Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA ) would be advocating the regulation and strategic development of the construction industry; advising the government on relevant aspects of the construction industry; formulating regulations, standards and codes to guide practice and procedure, and nature of output in the construction industry.
The body would be involved in registering contractors and consultants, and enterprises linked to the construction industry, such as suppliers of materials, and monitor and control their performance; proposing guidelines and frameworks to help to streamline the work, and promote good practice in, both public and private organisations involved in the construction industry. Moreover, it would provide and administer incentive schemes to organisations to improve their performance; collect, process, maintain and disseminate information that is crucial for activities in the construction industry.
He argued that, other countries, which are doing well in the construction sector, are doing so due to the fact that they have dedicated agencies which champion the growth and development of the sector. He added that efforts towards the coming into being of a regulatory body have been on for about the past five years. The absence of a central agency to regulate and ensure the continuous development of the construction industry is common to most studies. A recent study championed by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Ghana and funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) fund, aims to establish a regulatory agency for the construction industry in Ghana. This marks a move to walk the talk.
Dogbegah said, almost every day, there are issues that have to do with health and safety as well as non-performance of some construction company. The collapse of buildings in the country in recent years have become very alarming, often resulting in fatalities or inflicting permanent disability on many and destroying properties. He cited countries including Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, and Britain, among others, are doing well in the construction sector due to the existence of a regulatory body dedicated to the growing of the sector.
“In the case of Ghana, there is none, except for the Ministry of Works and Housing, which is only mandated to register the contractors,” he noted. Dogbegah, however, argued that the development of the capacity of contractors does not form part of the mandate of the Ministry. He concluded that, the way forward for the country is to have a certification system for trades that trains and certifies skilled artisans.