Global practices needed to influence Ghana’s construction sector policies – Eric Defor
The Construction Industry Development Forum of Ghana (CIDF-GH), championed by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Construction Sector, says it will continue to learn about global best practices to help shape Ghana’s construction sector policies.
Mr Eric Defor, Vice president of the AGI Construction Sector, speaking in an interview at the third quarterly meeting of AGI Construction Sector Public-Private Sector Dialogue (PPD) platform in Accra, said the CIDF-GH last month undertook a study tour of Rwanda to learn about the operations of its construction sector.
The tour, he said, also afforded the team the opportunity to explore how the youth could effectively be integrated into the construction sector so they can operate effectively.
The choice of Rwanda, he said, was because it is one of the few countries in the world with a well-structured development board from which Ghana could learn.
On lessons learnt, Mr Defor said unlike Ghana, built environment professional bodies and professionals such as Contractors, Engineers, Architects, Planners, Land and Quantity Surveyors were well regulated by legislation.
“Despite being self-regulated, these professional bodies are under the supervision of the Rwanda Housing Authority.
Therefore, effective practice of any of these professionals is practically impossible without being a member of the respective professional bodies. As a result, the impact of professionalism and accountability on Rwanda’s urban development is compelling,” he said.
He said payment of contractors for public construction works delayed less in Rwanda than in Ghana, adding that the maximum delay period was estimated at 90 days whiles there were no such time limits in Ghana.
He revealed that Rwanda’s budget planning system ensured that only projects with allocated funds were commissioned and ministries and agencies were obliged by policy and legislation to complete outstanding projects before commencing new ones.
This practice, he said, ensured that the phenomena of many uncompleted projects and project abandonment, which were common features of Ghanaian public construction works, were avoided.
Mr Defor said one other important lesson learnt was how the country had embraced technology in almost all sphere of business transactions.
They were doing their procurement processes online, they were processing payments online, everything was automated and because of the discipline and patriotism corruption was very minimal, people obeyed the laws,” he said.
Dr Kenneth Donkor-Hyiaman, Executive Secretary, AGI Construction Sector, said the issue of delayed payment to contractors was a major problem confronting the industry.
He said there was the need for a legislation that would compel governments to pay interest on delayed payments.
The AGI Construction Sector is being supported by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund and its Partners: DANIDA, the EU and USAID.