Contractors call for improved local content and participation in 2020

Building and civil engineering contractors say they are ready to collaborate with government to fulfil its infrastructure agenda in 2020.

The leadership said members of the Association are preparing themselves to play active role in the various infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the coming years.

Mr Prosper Yao Ledi, the President of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG), made these comments at the Association’s end of year get-together to take stock of the past year and strategise for the coming years.

Indigenous contractors have long complained about unlevelled playing field and neglect by governments in preference to their foreign counterparts.

While conceding that some indigenous players have acted in ways that have negatively affected their image, the President of ABCECG argued that the work of a few bad nuts should not define all of them.

Mr Ledi said the Association has proactively begun engaging key stakeholders to procure state-of-the-art equipment that would be available to members to enable them to undertake major projects in the country.

He said the initiative has resulted in two companies; United States based John Deere and China FAW Group, supporting the Association with relevant equipment.

“Our agenda is to secure very relevant machinery so that our members can hire them to undertake major projects, so government should recognise our readiness and work with us”.

There has been a series of Made in Ghana campaigns in recent times, the most recent being a drive for the consumption of Ghana rice; Mr Ledi lauded the advocacy campaign, adding that such a campaign must be comprehensive and extend to all sectors, so that Ghana’s products and services will be preferred ahead of foreign counterparts.

“If we have to stop the perennial depreciation of the cedi and high unemployment, then the Made in Ghana campaign must cover everything and we are putting our house in order for that to happen”.

A few months ago, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister for Works and Housing, endorsed efforts to make membership of contractor associations a prerequisite to qualify for contracts.

This endorsement is yielding the needed result as a number of building contractors are going through the process to either renew their membership of ABCECG or apply for membership.

The ABCECG President commended foreign contractors who are registered with the Association saying their action is worthy of emulation and urged other foreign construction firms operating in the country to comply and get registered.

Delayed payments and non-payments of interest on delayed arrears have been major challenges that contractors have been battling over the years.

Mr Ledi said the pain of the arrears are debilitating and that the Association would continue to engage government to end the practice, adding that it was a major agenda for the coming year.

The ABCECG President said 2020 would also be used to pursue the setting up of the Construction Industry Development Authority, which he explained, has been on the drawing board for far too long.

“The building and civil engineering contractors are hopeful of a better year and will do all that is within their power to be credible partners in the development of the country’s infrastructure,” Mr Ledi added.

Source: GNA

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