Finance Ministry Suspends Award Of New Projects

The Ministry of Finance has imposed a temporary ban on the award of new projects to enable it pay off older contracts. It had also spelt out the conditions on which future contracts would be awarded. The ministry took the initiative to enable it pay off debts to contractors who had completed their projects. For some time now, concerns have been raised over the late payment for finished government contracts, a development which some people believed, accounted for the shoddy work done by some contractors. Speaking at a day’s advocacy workshop held to deliberate on matters concerning the regulation of the construction industry, a deputy minister of Finance, Mr Ato Forson, stressed the need for contracts to be awarded with re-course to the ministry’s budget. He said this would help avoid situations where construction cost exceeded what was allowed for in the national budget and thus, cause delay in payment. The workshop, which was organised by the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana (ABCECG) on the theme: “Advocacy for a Regulatory Body to regulate the activities of the construction industry in Ghana” called for a look at the regulatory structures of the industry. The initiative was also intended to ensure safety, health and orderly development in construction and prevent resultant damage, particularly to physical structures that were usually costly to individuals, as well as the national economy. When finalised, the regulation would also enforce measures to appropriately tax contractors and labourers on their work. As part of its responsibilities for the formulation of policies concerning the regulation, the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, together with other stakeholders, had earlier reviewed the National Building Code and Building Regulation as a major step for implementation. A review of the Draft Ghana Building Code of 1998 had been completed and is yet to be submitted to cabinet for approval, together with a revised National building Regulation. A deputy minister for Works, Housing and Water Resources, Mr Sampson Ahi, stressed the need for strict supervision of awarded contracts for proper delivery. Story: Ruby Efe Ani-Adjei