Takoradi, April 27, GNA – Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, on Friday called on local contractors to ensure quality work and timely execution of projects.
He made the call in an address read for him at the 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG) at Takoradi.
The meeting is under the theme "Towards the Improvement of the Construction Industry-The Need for a Regulatory Body".
Mr Aidoo said government cannot support failing local companies or those which do sub-standard work and that there was the need for building and civil engineering contractors to have the necessary machinery and qualified work force.
He said the theme for the AGM was appropriate in view of the impact that the building and construction sub-sector is expected to play in the country's development agenda toward a middle income status.
He said currently, only contractors certified by the Ministry of Water Resources and Housing are eligible for contracts from state institutions and private estate developers.
Mr Aidoo said once a firm decides to undertake a project, it needs to issue a bid bond performance guarantees and advance payment guarantees and these are major impediment for local firms.
He said there is, therefore, the need for government to partner local companies, regulate their activities and provide them with the necessary assistance to enhance their performance.
Mr Kwame Afreh, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the association, called for the establishment of an independent and well-resourced body to improve and sanitize the construction sector.
He said the body will be an instrument of state through which the government can achieve its policy objectives and the regulator must be insulated from ministerial control.
Mr Afreh said the association with the assistance of the BUSAC Fund has started an advocacy programme on the need for the regulatory body for the construction and all the various stakeholders' contacted support this initiative.
Mr Kojo Yankah, Western Regional Chairman of the association, said due to the delay of government in the payment of certificates, many contractors owe their creditors huge sums of money.
He appealed to government to consider re-introducing the method of payment of interim certificates used in the 70's under which half of the contractual sum was given to the contractor when workers and equipment are moved to site.
Mr Kobby Okyere Darko-Mensah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi, urged local contractors to join forces to undertake big contracts which are now the preserve of foreign contractors.
He urged contractors to engage graduates to lessen the graduate unemployment problem.