Construction sector gets major boost...As PPD Forum is launched.
Efforts to improve dialogue between the government and players in the construction industry in Ghana has received a boost with the launch of the Public Private Dialogue (PPD).
The PPD, an initiative of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Construction Sector is meant to strengthen the interaction between the government and private sector to address the challenges facing the industry to promote effective service delivery.
The PPD supported by the BUSAC Fund and its development partners - DANIDA, the EU and USAID is made up of some Ministries, Agencies and Departments and the Built Environment Professional Institutions and Associations will be called the Ghana Construction Industry Development Forum.
The Forum will be a permanent forum for top-level stakeholders of the public and private sectors of the construction industry to dialogue on the pertinent issues facing the construction industry in Ghana.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta who inaugurated the AGI PPD platform in Accra yesterday said PPDs were useful initiatives for improving business environment and competitiveness in the Construction Industry.
PPD, he further, said, increase trust and foster governance, through coordination, transparency and accountability.
Mr Amoako-Atta who described the PPD as an important and inclusive forum would contribute greatly to the sustainable development of the country, stressing that the “platform is viewed as an additional but important building block that will broaden the consultative process in the construction and more particularly the road sector industry and contribute to effective decision making.”
The Minister expressed optimism that the platform would help address the challenges facing the construction industry in general and the road sector in particular.
He mentioned some of the challenges facing the construction industry as low quality of work, high levels of unpaid certificates, excessive project over commitments and inadequate supervision.
The Minister disclosed that henceforth, his Ministry completed a comprehensive review of its project portfolio and part of the recommendation of the exercise include the termination of non-performing contractors.
He said the termination of the contracts of non-performing contractors was to ensure value-for money for government contracts.
The Chairman of the AGI Construction Sector, Mr Rockson Dogbegah who is to Chair the Ghana Construction Industry Development Forum said the inauguration of the PPD was a major mile-stone for the Construction Industry in Ghana. In the absence of the Construction Industry Development Authority to oversee the Construction Industry, the PPD had been formed to promote interaction between the government and the private sector.
Mr Dogbegah said the objective of the PPD was to speed up construction sector reforms to enhance the business environment for greater productivity and to foster a structured, participatory, and inclusive approach to construction policy-making. In addition, he said, the PPD would improve information flow relating to economic policy to enhance accountability and build legitimacy into the construction policy-making process.
“The PPD will also enhance the business environment for greater productivity, promote the sustainability of construction firms and improve professionalism, ethics and best practice in the construction industry,” he said.
Mr Dogbegah disclosed that Construction Payment Law was being developed to ensure the speedy payment of contractors and assured the Minister of Roads and Highways that the concerns he raise would be address through the PPD platform.
The President of the AGI, James Asare-Adjei in his remarks said the construction industry contributed immensely to the development of the country.
He said the government industrialization agenda could not be achieved without a vibrant construction industry, saying the sector serve as oil that fuels the manufacturing sector.
The Fund Manager of BUSAC Fund, Nicolas Jorgensen Gebara whose organization pledged his outfits commitment to support building a vibrant construction industry.
He said, Ghana was lagging behind countries such as Kenya, Malawi, South African, Zambia and Tanzania, which have an Authority to oversee the construction industry.
The BUSAC Fund was very pleased with the initiative of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in creating the Construction Sector to focus on developing its potential. He noted that since its establishment, AGI Construction Sector has been active in driving a number of policy initiatives including spearheading the development of a local content bill with the support of BUSAC Fund, advocacy action to adopt Bid declaration form as a replacement of Bid Securities and call for the passage of the construction sector delayed payments law among others.
Kaliza Karuretwa Senior Private Sector Specialist World Bank Group speaking at the event noted that,
“Some of the key prerequisites for a successful PPD are in place in Ghana today such as political will, private sector minded Government, the presence of PPD champions including at the highest level of the government and in the private sector.
Meanwhile other conditions are lacking: coordination between public and private stakeholders, overlapping mandates and institutional structures, lack of trust between stakeholders, lack of transparency in decision making affecting private sector, limited resources to proper monitoring and technical support.
While PPD is necessary, there is also a need for better Public Public dialogue in order to improve inter-ministerial coordination as well as Private-Private dialogue to reduce fragmentation of private sector associations with different interests and not speaking with one voice”