- Kenya & South Africa have vibrant construction regulatory regimes
Stakeholders in the construction industry are demanding government critically considers the establishment of a Building and Construction Authority to regulate the construction sector.
In Africa, Kenya and South Africa have vibrant building regulatory authorities, just like in Singapore and Malaysia among others.
Speaking to the Goldstreet Business, real estate marketer and Board Chair of the Image Consortium Group (IC Group), Mr. Erick Houadjeto said, “government regulations on land acquisition, registration and the acquisition of building permits from MMDAs, is not enough to control and maintain standards in the sector.”
Houadjeto said professional associations and bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Builders, needs to be controlled by government in the formulation of standardized building regulation under a regulator, adding, “the current building code is not being enforced and adhered to.”
“An appropriate regulator will determine what type of iron rods and size, wiring system, cement to sand ratio, and other materials that should be used in the construction of specific homes, taking into consideration income levels and cost control mechanisms,” he said.
The authority, he explained, will also regulate and control costing systems by professional builders and contractors so as to make the regime affordable.
In Ghana, professional builders take a percentage on the cost of every building material whether wooden or iron materials.
“That is another factor that prevents people from patronizing the services of building professionals. The percentage factor is what scares the people, and that’s the complaint we usually receive from the public.” Houadjeto said.
A case in point, is when a professional tiler or brick layer, charges about GHS20 per square meter in laying tiles.
Though such services may come with added advantage of quality work, Houadjeto maintained, “the average person will definitely complain about the cost rather than appreciating the quality of service from a professional point.
The move, he said, could enable professional bodies including GREDA, Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) Ghana Institute of Housing, Ghana Institute of Surveyors (GIS) and Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP) to come to compromise, to make their services affordable.
“It’ll be a good measure to adopt in chasing out the unprofessionalism in the system” Houadjeto averred.
Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Construction Sector, Rockson Dogbegah, welcomed the call and said the establishment of the construction development authority to control the building sector is long overdue.
An industry development authority Dogbegah explained, will champion all issues about proper performance in the building and construction sector, adding “that entity must be set up by government because, the private sector, does not have the capacity to legislate.”
“We have the Contractors Association, which is not regulated by any law and membership to those associations are loose. Contractors cannot hold themselves to any code of ethics and that must be addressed,” he maintained.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe