Non-performing architects to be sanctioned

The Architects Registration Council has warned that it will sanction any member whose action or inaction will lead to the collapse of any building or structure.

The Registrar of the Council, Mrs. Stella N. D. Arthiabah, who gave the warning on the sidelines at the Local Housing and Suppliers Fair in Accra on Saturday, described as worrying, the number of buildings that had collapsed and the lives lost in the country.

The offenders, she said, would either have their licences withdrawn for a period, fined or imprisoned depending on the gravity of the case.

According to Mrs. Arthiabah, the council had guidelines to regulate members in the discharge of their duties and that any member who would misconduct him or herself leading to the collapse of a building will not be spared.

Meanwhile, she said, her outfit was waiting to receive reports from any of the investigation bodies (committees) on collapsed buildings to see if any architect was cited for wrong doing leading to the collapse.

She urged the public to consult architects before undertaking any project.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, said the fair created the platform for the players in the housing sector to network and discuss issues facing the industry and the urban landscape.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Dr. Agyemang-Mensah said emphasised the housing needs of society to realise the overall human rights.

“The SDG, also recognise housing as a fundamental human right, because insecure and inadequate shelter threatened physical and mental health and the overall quality of life,” he said.

“To address the country’s housing deficit, government is collaborating and partnering the private sector to share ideas and deliver decent homes to all Ghanaians,” Dr. Agyeman-Mensah said.

He said the ministers through the Architect Registration Council, was implementing government’s policy for the use of local materials by 2017 and architects should come out with innovative and creative designs to be included in the policy.

Dr. Agyemang-Mensah said the Real Estate Agency Bill had been laid before parliament and if passed would regulate real estate brokerage practice and prevent the use of real estate transaction for the purposes of money laundering.

He commended the players in the housing sector especially members of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) for their efforts to address the housing deficit.

The president of GREDA, Mr. Kwakye Dopoah Dei, said the executive was holding dialogue with the relevant authorities towards the implementation of the five per cent flat rate on Value Added Tax (VAT).

He urged members to complete their registration formalities with the Ghana Revenue Authority while the Executive Council of GREDA sought their interest to dialogue on their behalf regarding the difficulties they face in undertaking projects.

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour     

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