24.05.2005 General News

SSNIT advised against engaging foreign firm

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Fumesua (Ash), May 24, GNA-The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has been advised to reconsider its decision to engage a foreign firm for the execution of its planned housing project at Tema Community 20.

The Trust should rather engage local construction firms like the BRRI, which equally had the capacity and expertise to execute such a project.

Mr Kwaku Amoah-Mensah, Director of the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), made the suggestion in an interview with the GNA in at Fumesua near Kumasi on Tuesday.

He was speaking on the housing situation in the country, and the role of BRRI in the provision of affordable houses.

Mr. Amoah-Mensah expressed surprise that even though the BRRI held several discussions with SSNIT for the award of the contract for the Tema Community 20 project, the Trust went ahead to bring in Malaysians to execute the project.

He said: "SSNIT acknowledges the capabilities of the BRRI in the construction industry and more importantly, we have for years executed projects under the Trust's housing scheme without any problem, and we therefore wonder why we have been sidelined in respect of the Tema community 20 project".

Mr Amoah-Mensah said if SSNIT had given the contract to BRRI, it would ensure that work was properly done and savings made in terms of foreign exchange.

He explained that since BRRI made use solely of local resources for its projects, and engaged only indigenous expertise, funds that would have been used for importation of constructional materials and remuneration of expatriates would have been reduced. Mr Amoah-Mensah said BRRI was not happy that while the Government was promoting the use of local materials like bricks for building of houses, some government organisations continued to use sandcrete for their housing projects.

He said such practices should be discouraged because they would undermine government's national housing scheme.

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