Vice President AlhajiDrMahamuduBawumia is reported to have hinted of the introduction of a Construction Industry Development Authority Bill aimed at promoting technology, business and manpower development in the construction sector.
He explained, among other benefits, that the bill, when enacted as law, would help to regulate activities in the industry, including surveying, and that the government was focused on creating the enabling environment to strengthen the construction sector to firmly join agriculture and transportation as the three major pillars of Ghana’s economy.
DrBawumiasaid also thatthe government was pursuing the establishment of the National Development Bank to addressfinancial challenges in the sector by providing long-term financing and expressed hope that would further reduce cost of borrowing by industry players.
The Vice-President asked the industry players to examine their role in ensuring the success ofAkufo-Addo administration’sGhana Beyond Aid agenda.
In spite of the issues raised by DrBawumia, which give confidence in the wellbeing of the construction sector, the Chairman of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry (GCCI), Emmanuel Martey, has raised concerns about challenges crippling the growth of the sector, which include delay in payment for work done by contractors.
There is no doubt that the construction industry is acritical sector in every economy because all infrastructure, including houses, factories, offices, hospitals, playgrounds, schools, roads, airports, harbours, police stations and courts, are put up by professionals and others in that industry.
Therefore, the Ghanaian Times welcomes every move intended to improve the sector, including the bill DrBawumia is talking about.
The aesthetics of every place and integrity of infrastructure there, for example, depend on what happens in the industry.
We are in a country where roads begin to develop potholes and other defects just months after their construction and buildings collapse while under construction or not long afterwards.
In fact, construction for sustainable developments means, among other expectations, that materials used in construction of infrastructure, public or private, are of durable quality, yet fittings of some buildings, particularly state-owned facilities, begin to wear off even before they are handed over or not quite long after that.
This means shoddy work and use of inferior materials are commonplace in the construction sector and persisting with minimal checks.
The paper hopes the bill captures and criminalises some of these problems.
Besides, it is expected that haphazard development would be checked seriously so that where people have built on state land, blocked or encroached on parts of roads, alleys and lanes close to their houses, for instance, such unauthorized structures could be pulled down at the cost of the perpetrators in addition to them being given jail terms.
The impunity in the construction sector must not be tolerated anymore, because apart from the obstruction that results from it, it destroys the beauty of communities, ironically, in those springing up.
We now have digital addresses, yet it is not easy to locate some structures because of haphazard siting of those structures.
All the ills in the industry can be attributed to the corrupt instincts and negligence of public officials mandated to check these rots, particularly those in the assemblies who come in always to intimidate the weak and pave the way for the strong who influence the officials in one way or another.
It is the hope of the paper that while the industry players, through the GCCI, are calling for the challenges they are facing to be fixed, the Chamber would help to check the ills bedeviling their cherished industry.