NEED FOR LOCAL CONTENT POLICY FOR CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The burgeoning construction industry in Ghana urgently requires the formulation and passage of a local content policy to ensure a vibrant and strong local construction industry necessary for the sustainable development of the country.
It is no doubt that for sustainability, the nation cannot continue to rely primarily on the expertise and resources of foreign companies for executing construction firms need be beefed, Mr. Rockson Dogbegah, Construction Sector Chair of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) said.
The Mission of the AGI Construction Sector is to influence the development and growth of the construction industry, through effective stakeholder engagements and policy reform initiatives that will enhance the capacity and competiveness of construction sector providers in Ghana.
Speaking in an interview ahead of a workshop to be held on July 11, 2017, on the need for local content policy for the construction sector, he said no nation can grow its construction manpower without according a pride of place to its local construction sector players.
The workshop seeks to discuss issues on local content for the construction sector and chart a way forward, towards having a local content policy for the sector. It will also provide the platform to discuss the government’s local content policy in the light of helping government develop a comprehensive policy for the construction industry has been achieved elsewhere; and to help government identify and develop programmes, projects and strategies to actualize the local content policy.
Construction sector ministries, construction sector associations, GREDA, Ghana Institution of Surveyors Architects Registration Council, and the Public Procurement Authority amongst a host of others are expected to participate in the day’s programme.
Mr. Dogbegah who is also the Vice President for Chartered Institute of Building, Africa (CIOB) Africa, said, considering the enormous contribution of the construction sector to the growth of the economy there was the need for a local content policy for the sector; adding that better management of the industry could expand their contribution to national growth.
Available data from the Ghana Statiscal Service shows that between 2009 and 2013, the Construction and Real Estate Industry contributed on average about 14.34 percent to gross domestic product. The data shows that the contribution of the industry to GDP consistently increased from 12.9 per cent in 2009 to 16.2 per cent in 2013.
This trend shows that the real estate and construction industries are increasingly becoming more important to the economic growth in Ghana, although operating sub-optimally. He said the number of indigenous construction companies operating in the country had recorded a sharp increase but were not being offered many contracts as compared to their foreign counterparts who were doing volumes of construction contracts in the country.
Lack of Capacity
He said the issue of local construction companies lacking the capacity to deliver on big projects could be addressed with the formulation and passage of the local content policy for the sector.
The local content policy when passed must compel all foreign civil construction companies in the country to partner local construction companies adding that this would help build and develop the capacity of the local construction companies.
“We must pass a law that will prevent foreign companies from securing any construction contract without a local partner over a period of time. This will help build the capacity of the local companies within the period and we can then take that protection off after that period so that we all compete” he said.
He said over-dependence on foreign expatriates for construction works that can be easily carried out by Ghanaians was inimical to the growth of the economy.
Mr. Dogbegah said local content policy would not only ensure increasing Ghanaians participation in the construction sector but would provide employment opportunities.
He said the construction sector was very pivotal in addressing the country’s unemployment issues hence the need to pay adequate attention to the sector by the government.
Source: Business & Financial Times (B&FT)