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27.10.2008 Business & Finance

'Regulate Construction Products'

By Daily Guide

MAGNUS OPARE Asamoah, deputy Minister for Transportation, has called for the regulation of products in the construction industry to ensure that consumers get value for their money.

“Our failure to adhere to specification and also the use of non-professionals for construction projects has cost the country huge losses including the collapse of buildings and more importantly lives.”

The deputy minister was speaking at a seminar organised by Africa Concrete Products (ACP) Limited at the Trade Fair Site in Accra, Thursday.

He congratulated ACP for its immense contribution to infrastructural development in Ghana dating as far back as independence.

The company provided perfect products for the construction of the Akosombo Dam, Tema Harbour, Ohene Djan Stadium and a lot of drainage works along roads in the country.

Carl Richards, Chairman of ACP, in a speech, appealed to government to update building standards for the construction industry and ensure strict adherence. “Government must practice what it preaches.”

Asserting that Ghana has the capacity for homegrown solutions, Mr Richards expressed the hope that the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) will capture that in its mandate. He further called on consumers to highly patronize locally manufactured goods and services for the country's prosperity.

Williams Nyarko, a director at GSB, cited lack of construction supervision as a major common problem bedeviling the construction of projects. He noted that since Ghana has adopted the International Building Code 2006, it would be prudent if Ghanaian building standards were upheld in order for other African countries to emulate it.

T.N. Evans-Anfom, president of the Ghana Institute of Architects also added his voice to the call for the pursuit of superior knowledge, skills and better judgement in the execution of construction projects. Mr Evans-Anfom called for a holistic upgradement of artisanal skills and a stop to foreign standard specification for local projects.

Founded in 1956, ACP produces a wide variety and range of concrete products that meet the building and construction requirements of public authorities, government contractors, international contractors, private companies and builders in the West Africa sub-region.

By Samuel Boadi