Mr. Rockson Kwesi Dogbegah, Chairman Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Construction Sector, has called on government to pass the Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA) bill to regulate activities in the construction industry.
He said this is necessary to help build an “indigenised globally competitive construction industry that promotes excellence and supports national development”.
Mr. Dogbegah, who was speaking at a seminar organised by the AGI on local content policy for the construction industry in Ghana, said such a policy is crucial to giving locals a fair share of contracts.
He said the CIDA bill has been pending for over three years, and that the Authority when established will enable local constructors to compete with foreign firms that benefit from protectionist policies of their governments.
Mr. Dogbegah said, under the policy, government through effective legislation will ensure that 70 percent of procurement is executed by local contractors – with provisions for women, the disabled, and contractors captured under the Youth Enterprise Fund.
He said the industry contributes over 15 percent of Gross Domestic Product for the country, and has potential to drive the nation’s economic growth with support from government.
Mr. Dogbegah said growth of the local construction industry hinges on the promotion and uptake of indigenous materials, access to short- and long-term finances and resources, quality services, training, and a strong collaboration between industry and academic research.
He said government must facilitate technology transfers and local capacity development by ensuring effective collaboration with foreign construction companies, while enhancing the construction supply chain.
Mr. Dogbegah said government must also legislate and enforce acts to streamline payment of securities to indigenous companies and enterprises under the local content policy, while integrating construction activities with local economies to expand employment opportunities.
He said there is a need for local participation in the control and financing of joint venture arrangements which promote the use of local resources, materials and services in the construction industry.
Mr. Dogbegah said poor procurement practices, weak legal and regulatory frameworks, and delayed payments for executed contracts remain bottlenecks to the local construction industry’s growth.