The government has been asked to appreciate the pivotal role played by local consulting engineers in national development and to fully utilise their competences and capabilities, if the nation is to advance in its middle-income status.
Mr Albert A. Ogyiri, President of the Ghana Consulting Engineers Association (GCEA) who made the call noted that Ghana, West Africa’s second biggest economy, could realise sustainable development with the consequent job creation for the growing youth population, if the capacity building were to be spearheaded by indigenously trained manpower.
Mr. Ogyiri was speaking shortly after he was inducted into office as the new President of the GCEA to steer the affairs of the Association for the next two years.
The ceremony took place at the Engineers Centre at Roman Ridge in Accra and was graced by ministers of state, contractors as well as industry professionals.
The new President pointed out that the over reliance on foreign consulting engineers, not only results in huge capital expenditure for Ghana but also creates jobs for other economies at the expense of Ghanaians.
“Local consulting engineers are natural allies of both government and the private sector in the nation’s quest to develop sound, safe and secure infrastructure for its people. Government must therefore intensify its collaboration with the GCEA by introducing our members to more job opportunities as well as ensuring the timely payment for services rendered,” Mr Ogyiri stated.
He said his presidency would strive to enhance the positive recognition of the GCEA, with stronger and more influential member firms and individuals.
He said the association was working to establish a minimum fee threshold for services and called on government to minimise delays in payment for consulting engineering services.
He called on member firms to train young professionals in consulting engineering and managerial skills as well as share knowledge on statutory requirements.
He said the Association would embark on a membership drive for firms and individuals to be able to generate the necessary force as well as obtain statutory recognition by registering with the Engineering Council of Ghana.
In a welcome address and overview of the activities of the Association, Mr F. Asare-Yeboah, Past President said the sustainable development of any country could only be done by the indigenous trained manpower to meet the socio-economic and environmental needs.
Mr Kwesi Abbey-Sam, who was the guest speaker, stressed the need for members to bring their professional expertise to bear on the works that they do for the betterment of society.
The 43–year- old Association, made up of over 46 member firms and individuals, has played key roles in providing consulting engineering services for many infrastructure projects across sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
Their services span Information Communication Technology (ICT), Roads, Railways, Building Management Services, Water Supply and Sanitation, Drainage and Solid Waste Management, Structural and Industrial Buildings etc.
Notable projects that members of the association have provided consultancy services for include; the Aburi- Accra Road, Accra Shopping Mall, West Hills and Junction malls, expansion of the Kpong Water Project, Achimota-Ofankor Highway, and many more.
By David Adedevoh